Skip to main content

Full text of "The history of the town of Litchfield, Connecticut, 1720-1920"

See other formats

■■■/■ aA- 

.H -r. 

-'% v^ 


'^/:''*v.o>- ^:^^- 

^' '\^' 

,\. '/', 


v- v' 

'o Ay r- 

<V -'■'>. 

.v\>' ./>_ 


v^^ •% 





aj- laid ei/2-A.DJ72€, ic /Z25,/rc>7nj}Zan^ 
a/i7icxed- ic 7Ae criminal- deed. emdyh^Tn^ 
i/(£^ r>7^igrenal survey's, ^.CW 7S4-S. 

£uh . aMc^war^. 7 Flalf J^ cor. Peari SfJ^^ 

of the 

Coton of Hitciifteltr, Connecticut 



Alain Ci White 


PRINT *>- 
19 2 




who, as a citizen of Litchfield 

and as President of the Historical Society, 

IjreserA^es the interest 

in the traditions of the Town 

begun by his great-great-uncle, 


and continued by his father, 


this book is dedicated 

with admiration and esteem. 


At a meeting of the Litchfield Historical Society, held on October 6, 1919, 
Miss Cornelia B. Smith, Miss Esther H. Thompson and Miss Florence E. Ennis 
■vvrere appointed a Committee to prepare a History of Litchfield in connection 
with the Bi-Centennial celebration planned for August, 1920. On November 
10, this Committee asked me to undertake the work for them ; and it was 
found necessary to have the manuscript ready for the printer to begin work 
in January. At first it appeared that it would be a serious handicap to 
endeavor to prepare a book of this character in so short a time ; but as the 
work progressed it has proved in some ways a distinct advantage. 

In the first place, the nature of the book has more or less shaped itself. 
There were clearly several things which the time-limit precluded the possi- 
bility of attempting ; but which otherwise would have required consideration. 
It was not practicable to undertake what might be called a biographical 
history. Litchfield has been fortunate in having had, in proportion to its 
population, a large percentage of men and women, many still living, whose 
biographies would be of general interest. To collect and classify these 
was clearly impracticable. It will be found, therefore, that many of our 
important names, past and present, are mentioned only casually, and in some 
cases not at all. Consequently, by the necessities of the case, this book is 
strictly the story of the township, and not the story of the individual 

Again, it was impossible to attempt more than a compilation from sources 
readily at hand. These sources, fortunately, were numerous, taken together 
astonishingly complete, andj what is especially important, in the main admir- 
ably written. Many chapters have written themselves by the simple process 
of quotation, and the temptation to rewrite such parts, which would have 
been no gain to the reader, has been removed by the pressure of the work. 

The task, therefore, was to compile the story of the town on the founda- 
tion afforded by the earlier Histories of George C. Woodruff, 1845, and 
Payne Kenyon Kilbourne, 1859, with such elaboration as suggested itself, 
bringing the book more nearly to date. These two Histories are quoted 
throughout, the name : Woodruff or Kilbourne, followed by the page num- 
ber, being a sufficient reference. The Statistical Account of Several Towns 
in the County of Litchfield, by James Morris, while much shorter in its 
contents, is also of extreme importance because of its early date. It forms 
pages 85 to 124 of a book called : A Statistical Account of the Towns and 
Parishes in the State of Connecticut, published by the Connecticut Academy 
of Arts and Sciences, Volume i, Number i, New Haven, 181 1. It appears, 
however, that Morris' section was not written until between 1812 and 1814, 
and that probably it was bound into the volume in 1815, the earlier date 
being retained on the title page. This little work must always remain the 
starting point for the historian of Litchfield. Morris, Woodruff and Kil- 


bourne laid little stress on the period after the Revolution, which to us 
now is one of the most interesting parts of the story. Fortunately other 
writers have supplemented this deficiency. 

The work of Dwight C. Kilbourn on the Bench and Bar, 191 1, with the 
many lights it throws upon the Litchfield Law School, and the Chronicles 
of a Pioneer School by E. N. Vanderpoel (Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel)^ 1903, 
with its fascinating picture of the life of Litchfield in the days of Miss 
Pierce's Academy as revealed in the diaries and letters which she has col- 
lected ; the many graphic little sketches and anecdotes compiled by Rev. 
George C. Boswell in his Book of Days, 1899 ; Miss Alice T. Bulkeley's His- 
toric Litchfield ; two works important for tracing Litchfield genealogies, 
George C. Woodruff's Residents of Litchfield, written in 1845, but not 
published till 1900, and Charles T. Payne's Litchfield and Morris Inscriptions, 
1905 ; the many volumes dealing with single families or individuals^ such as 
the splendid Wolcott Memorial, 1881, the two editions of the Memoirs of 
Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge, 1858 and 1902, and the Lyman Beecher Auto- 
biography, 1866; the records of exercises on particular occasions, including 
the County Centennial of 1851, and the Presentation of the Litchfield Law 
School to the Historical Society in 191 1; the War literature, comprising the 
Litchfield County Honor Roll of the Revolution, published in 1912 by the 
Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, D. A. R,, and the two Histories of the 
Litchfield County Regiment in the Civil War, by Theodore F. Vaill, 1868, 
and Dudley Landon Vaill, 1908; the published Sermons, especially those of 
a memorial nature; the several works on the County; the publications of the 
Litchfield County University Club ; the books dealing only in part with 
Litchfield, Hollister's History of Connecticut, 1858, on the one hand, or the 
Personal Memories of E. D. Mansfield, 1879, on the other; the collections 
of County or State Biographies, such as Payne K. Kilbourne's Litch- 
field Biographies, 1851, and the Leading Citizens of Litchfield County, 
1896; the files of the newspapers which have been published in Litch- 
field, and of the Morris Herald and the Northfield Parish Paper ; the 
files of the Litchfield Historical Society, embracing the manuscripts of 
lectures, bound and unbound selections of letters, scrap-books and other 
collections, such as the Record Book of the Seth F. Plumb Post, No. 80, 
G. A. R., and the box of Civil War papers left by Dwight C. Kilbourn : — all 
these and others make up a body of material as rich as the most omnivorous 
lover of Litchfield's history could desire. There are even novels with their 
scenes laid in Litchfield and their incidents based on the history of the town 
and the character of its people, notably Harriet Beecher Stowe's Poganuc 
People and Jennie Gould Lincoln's An Unwilling Maid. 

This book, then, is only a digest of so much of this material as time 
has permitted the sifting of, supplemented by contributions from, and the 
help of, many members of the Litchfield Historical Society and other persons. 

I have been fortunate in securing the collaboration, throughout the 
preparation of the work, of Miss Dorothy Bull, who in particular has writ- 
ten the chapters on the Revolutionary War and on Modern Litchfield; and 
the assistance of Miss Florence Elizabeth Ennis and Miss Ethel M. Smith. 
Miss Ennis has written the chapter on the World War and has compiled 

Rev. Storrs O. Seymour, D.D., late President, and Hon. George M. 
Woodruff, President, Litchfield Historical Society 

Captain Edgar B. Van Winkle, late Treasurer, 
Litchfield Historical Society 


five sections of the Appendix. Miss Smith has prepared the two other 
sections of the Appendix, and has rendered valuable and constant assist- 
ance in seeing the book through the press. To Miss Elizabeth Kenyon Coit, 
also, are due hearty thanks for aid in preparing a part of the manuscript. 

Help in matters of detail has been given by so many persons, that it is 
impossible to acknowledge all. I wish, however, to thank' in particular 
Hon. George M. Woodruff, President, and Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel, Vice- 
President and Curator, of the Litchfield Historical Society, for their con- 
stant help, encouragement and suggestions in the work; Dr. Arthur E. 
Bostwick for the contribution of the original reminiscences forming Chapter 
22; Mr. Albert M. Turner, Mr. Herman Foster, Miss Edith L. Dickinson, 
and Mrs. Henry C. Alvord, for materials relating respectively to Northfield, 
Bantam, Milton, and Morris; Mrs. John Laidlaw Buel (Elizabeth C. Barney 
Buel), for the loan of three manuscript lectures; Professor Henry S. Munroe 
and Miss Mary Perkins Quincy, for the use of their Lectures on the Trees 
of Litchfield ; Mr. Frederick K. Morris, for an account of the geological 
history of the region ; Professor James Kip Finch, for information regard- 
ing the local topography; Miss Anna W. Richards, for material relating to 
the Congregational Church ; Miss Esther H. Thompson, for reminiscences 
of former days ; Mrs. Dwight C. Kilbourn, for access to her husband's 
Library; Mr. R. Henry W. Dwight, for an account of the early Mission 
movement in the County; Miss Cornelia Buxton Smith, Rev. William J. 
Brewster, Hon. Thomas F. Ryan, Mr. Travis A. Ganung, Mr. George H. 
Hunt, Mr. Frederick Deming, Mr. George C. Woodruff and the Wolcott 
and Litchfield Circulating Library Association, for the loan of books and 
manuscripts ; Miss Clarisse C. JDeming, Miss Mabel Bishop, Mrs. L. P. 
Bissell, Mr. Cornelius R. Duffie, and Mrs. George McNeill, for the loan 
of photographs ; the Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, D. A. R., for per- 
mission to quote from the Honor Roll of Litchfield County; Mr. Howard 
W. Carter, Secretary of the Litchfield County University Club, for permis- 
sion to quote from the publications of the Club ; and Miss Mary Alice 
Hutchins, Assistant Curator of the Litchfield Historical Society, for much 
help and many valuable suggestions during my researches at the room of the 
Society. Finally I am indebted to the courtesy of the Litchfield Enquirer, 
and in particular to the energy and unflagging interest of its superintendent, 
Mr. S. Carl Fischer, for preparing the work in the limited time available, 
and to Mr. George C. Woodruff, editor and proprietor, for much assistance 
in proof-reading. 

In quoting directly from older texts^ the original spelling has been pre- 
served, no matter how incongruous to the modern eye. The punctuation 
has, however, sometimes been modified. 

Absolute accuracy in a work so hastily compiled is improbable, and 
notification of any errors that are discovered will be much appreciated. 
Supplemental material relating to the history of the Town will always be 
welcomed by the Litchfield Historical Society and all contributions of such 
material will be filed for future use. As the history of a community is 
embodied not only in books but in the objects that have played a part in 
the life of the community, the reader is urged to visit the rooms of the 


Society, if this volume awakes in him a desire to understand more fully 
the spirit of the two centuries here described. Contributions of new 
objects of historic or scientific interest are always valued and are assured 
a permanent place in the collections of the Society. 

A. C. W. 
Litchfield, Conn., May 17, 1920. (^ 

XTable of Contents 

1. Introductory 1 

2. The Settlement of Litchfield 7 

3. The Indians 16 

4. The Church on the Green - 27 

5. Colonial Days - - - 38 

6. The Age of Homespun, hy Horace Bushnell - - - 50 

7. Litchfield in the Revolution, by Dorothy Bull - - - 65 

8. The Golden Age 92 

9. The Litchfield Law School 98 

10. Miss Pierce's School - - - - - - - - 110 

11. Amusements 121 

12. Industries and Merchants; Newspapers .... 128 

13. The Wolcott Family 141 

14. Slavery 151 

15. The Temperance Movement 156 

16. Federalists and Dentocrats 162 

17. Trees and Parks ; Domestic and Wild Animals - - - 168 

18. South Farms; the Morris Academy; Northfield; Milton; 

Bantam 178 

19. The Churches: the Third and Fourth Congregational 

Churches ; the Episcopal Church ; the Methodist Church ; 
the Baptist Church; the Eoman Catholic Church; the 

Cemeteries 195 

20. The Old Order Changes 204 

21. The Civil War 217 

22. Impressions and Post-Impressions, hy Dr. A. E. Bosticick 230 

23. The World War, by Florence E. Ennis ■ - - - 245 

24. Modern Litchfield, by Dorothy Bull 263 

APPENDIX— By Florence E. Ennis and Ethel M. Smith - 271 


%i8t of llUustrations 

1. Plan of the Village of Litchfield, 1720-25 _ - - Frontispiece 

2. The Rev. Storrs O. Seymour, D.D., late President, 1893-1918; 

and the Hon. George M. Woodruff, President, 1918- , of 

the Litchfield Historical Society _ _ - . . viii 

3. Captain Edgar Beach Van Winklei, late Treasurer, the Litchfield 

Historical Society, 1895-1920 ------ ix 

4. Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel, Vice-President and Curator, the Litch- 

Historical Society, 1898- , Portrait by W. J. L. Foster - xvi 

5. The Bronson Store, 1819; First Home of the Litchfield His- 

torical Society, 1893-1901 ; now occupied by the Sanctum 
Club, 1906- -_--_----- I 

6. The Litchfield Hills, from Chestnut Hill ; Photograph by Wil- 

liam H. Sanford _____._- 4 

7. Bantam Lake from the North; Photograph by Wm. H. Sanford 5 

8. North Street . . _ . 14 

9. South Street; Photograph by W. H. Sanford - - - - I5 

10. Primeval Oak, still standing West of the Gould House on North 

Street; Photograph by W. H. Sanford - - - - 24 

11. Litchfield from Chestnut Hill; from Barber's Historical Collec- 

tions, 1836 ----------25 

12. The Second Congregational Church, 176^, from a sketch by Miss 

Mary Ann Lewis, copied by E. N. Vanderpoel ; from Chroni- 
' cles of a Pioneer School. (The building in right of picture 
is the Mansion House!) _____-- 32 

13. The Rev. Lyman Beechen, Pastor of the Congregational Church, 

1810-1826 ---------- 33 

14. Ebenezer Marsh House, 1759. Site of the Wolcott and Litch- 

field Circulating Library _____-- 48 

15. Samuel Sej^mour House, 1784. Now St. Michael's Rectory - 49 

16. The First Episcopal Church, formerly situated a Mile west of 

the Center, 1749. From a drawing by Chas. T. Payne - 58 

17. The Rev. Truman Marsh, Rector of St. Michael's, 1799-1829 - 59 

18. Governor Oliver Wolcott), Signer of the Declaration of Inde- 

pendence. Portrait by Ralph Earle, 1782; From the Wol- 
cott Memorial _____---- 68 

19. Mrs. Oliver Wolcott, (Laura Collins). From the Wolcott 

Memorial. Painted by Enis, 1782. ----- 69 


20. Major Moses Seymour. From a Portrait by Ralph Earle, in the 

collection of Hon. Morris W. Seymour - - - - 78 

21 .The Moses Seymour House, 1735. Site of Residence of Hon. 

George M. Woodruff -- 79 

22. Colonel Benjamin Tallmadge ; from a Portrait by Ralph Earle, in 

the collection of the Litchfield Historical Society - - 86 

23. Mrs. Benjamin Tallmadge. (Mary Floyd, after whom was named 

the Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, D. A. R.) From a Por- 
trait by Ralph Earle, in the collection of the Litchfield His- 
torical Society -_.---^--87 

24. The Tallmadge House, 1775. Residence of Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel 92 

25. Milestone erected near Elm Ridge by Jedediah Strong, 1787 - 93 

26. View of the Center about i860, showing Mansion House, 1800, 

and the Second Court House, 1798 ----- 96 

27. Preparing the Winter's Woodpile for the Mansion House - 97 

28. Chief Justice Tapping Reeve, from an Engraving by George Catlin 100 

29. Moving the Reeve Law School from its original location on 

South Street to West Street in 1846 ----- loi 

30. Judge James Gould. Portrait by Waldo. From Hollister's 

History of Connecticut _-____- 104 

31. The Gould Law School, after it was removed one mile west of 

the Center on the Bantam Road and used as a Tenement. 

It has since been destroyed by fire ----- 105 

32. The Tapping Reeve House, 1774; later owned by Hon. Lewis 

B. Woodruff, and now the Residence of his grandson, Lewis 

B. Woodruff (Jr). -------- 108 

32- The James Gould House, built in 1760 by EHsha Sheldon; later 
the Sheldon Tavern, where General Washington visited ; 
afterwards owned by Senator Uriah Tracy, son-in-law of 
Judge Gould ; Professor James M. Hoppin of Yale bought 
the house in 187 1 from Judge Gould's daughter. It is now' 
owned by Hon. John P. Elton, and it has recently been 
rented as a summer home by Mr. and Mrs. E. H. Sothern 
(Julia Marlowe) -------- lop 

34. Miss Sally Pierce - - - - - - - - -112 

35. The Litchfield Academy, 1827 - - - - - - -113 

36. Miss Lucy Sheldon (Mrs. Theron Beach). From a Miniature by 

Anson Dickinson, born in Milton, 1779, afterwards a dis- 
tinguished miniaturist in New York City - -< - - 116 

37. Miss Lucretia Deming. From a Miniature by Anson Dickinson 117 

38. The United States Hotel. Formerly and now again known as 

Phelps' Tavern - - - - - - - - -122 

39. Dr. Daniel Sheldon - - -- - - - - - 123 

40. Julius Deming Esq. _-__.-_-- 1^6 


41. The Lindens, built by Julius Deming in 1793; later occupied by 

his daughter, Miss Lucretia Deming;, and afterwards by his 
grandson, Hon. J. Deming Perkins ; now the Residence of 
the Misses Kingsbury ---_-___ 137 

42. George C. Woodruff (Jr.), Editor of the Litchfield Enquirer - 140 

43. Frederick Wolcott Esq. Portrait by Waldo, 1835. From the 

Wolcott Memorial -___-__. j^i 

44. The Wolcott House, built in 1753, by Governor Oliver Wolcott 

Senior ; later enlarged by his son, Frederick Wolcott, now 

the Residence of Miss Alice Wolcott. From an old Print. - 150 

45. The Wolcott House, from a modern Photograph in the Book 

of Days ______-_-- 151 

46. The First National Bank, showing the Drug Store taken down in 

1914 and replaced by the Annex occupied by the Litchfield 
Savings Society - - - - - - - - -166 

47. Governor Oliver Wolcott Jr. From a Crayon Sketch by Rem- 

brandt Peale. From the Wolcott Memorial _ _ _ 167 

48. The Beecher Elm, marking the appro;ximate location of the 

Beecher House, which is no longer standing - . - 170 

49. The Whipping-Post Elm and Litchfield County House and Jail, 

erected 1812 and added to 1896 ------ 171 

50. Morris Woodruff. From a Portrait by Anson Dickinson - - 178 

51. Maplehurst, the Residence of Horatio Benton in South Farms, 

later the South Farms Inn, demolished 1917 - _ - 179 

52. The old Marsh House, Northfield Hill ----- 184 

53. The Major David Welch House, Milton, 1745 - - - - 185 

54. The Third Congregational Church, 1827-29; removed to the Tor- 

rington Road in 1873, and known as Armory Hall; now 
Colonial Hall - --194 

55. The Fourth (Present) Congregational Church, 1873 - - - 195 

56. The Third (Present) St. Michael's Episcopal Church, 1851 - 198 

57. The Fallen Steeple at St. Michael's Church, April 11, 1894 - 199 

58. The Second (Present) Methodist Church, 1885 - - - - 200 

59. Interior of the Second (Present) St. Anthony's Roman Catholic 

Church, 1888 201 

60. The Blizzard of March 12, 1888, showing the Snowdrift near the 

House of Dr. Henry W. Buel ____.- 206 

61. South Street after the Ice Storm of February 20, 1898 - - 207 

62. Hon. George C. Woodruff -------- 210 

63. The Centennial Celebration of Litchfield County, 1751 ; from an 

old Print ----------211 

64. Chief Justice Origen Storrs Seymour ----- 214 

65. Judge Lewis B. Woodruff - 215 


66. Dwjght C. Kilbourn ---------220 

67. Presentation of Colors to the Nineteenth Connecticut Infantry, 

by Hon. William Curtis Noyes, September 10, 1862 - - 221 

68. Charge of the Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery at the Battle 

of Cold Harbor, June i, 1864. From an old Print in D. 

Vaill's The County Regiment --...- 224 

69. The Triumphal Arch on East Street, August i, 1865 - - - 225 

70. Hon. J. Deming Perkins _-_-.___ 232 

71. Dr. Henry W. Buel ---------233 

"72. Judge Edward W. Seymour ------- 238 

T2>. Mrs. Edward W. Seymour (Mary Floyd Tallmadge) - - 239 

74. Mrs. John Laidlaw Buel (Elizabeth C. Barney Buel), State 

Regent, Daughters of the American Revolution - - - 248 

75. Charles H. Coit, Chairman, Liberty Loan Campaigns - - - 249 

76. Dr. John Laidlaw Buel, Chairman, American Red Cross Home 

Service Bureau -___.---- 260 
TJ. The Morgan-Weir Post, American Legion : Front row, standing 
left to right : Eugenio Cucchi, Gino Valmoretti, Frank B. 
Weir, William L. Herbert, T. Joseph Kelly, James H. Catlin, 
Clarence E. Perkins, Colombano Sassi, William Mooney, 
Albert W. Clock, William F. Slawson, William M. Foord; 
Second row, standing left to right : Thomas F. Weir, Charles 
H. Turkington, James E. Conroy, Charles I. Page Jr., Clif- 
ford H. Danielson, Sutherland A. Beckwith, Macklin Cun- 
ningham, William D. Roberg, Alexis Doster, E. Carroll 
Johnson, James L. Kirwin, PhiHp W. Hunt, Arthur D. 
Deacon, Archibald A. MacDonald, John F. Barrett, Thomas 
Carr, James W. Drury, Edward J. Brahen, Frederick Noz- 
zioli, Clarence F. Ganung, Edward A. Brennan, Edwin B. 
Perkins, Thomas J. Knox, Timothy F. Higgins, James F. 
Burke, Albert S. Fabbri -- 261 

78. Frederick Deming Esq. - - - - - - - - - 266 

79. The Ruins of the Mansion House and Business Block, after the 

Fire of June 11, 1886 -- 267 

80. John Arent Vanderpoel _____--_ 270 

81. The Noyes Memorial Building, showing the Sign-Post Elm. 

Built in 1901, enlarged in 1906. Home of the Wolcott and 
Litchfield Circulating Library, and of the Litchfield His- 
torical Society - - - - - - - - -271 

82. Rear-Admiral George Partridge Colvocoresses - - _ _ 272 

83. Colvocoresses Day, November lo, 1899. Presentation of Sword 273 

84. Hon. Morris Woodruff Seymour ------ 274 

85. The Ozias Seymour House, 1807. Later occupied by Chief 

Justice Origen S. Seymour ; now residence of Hon. Morris 


W. Seymour --------._ 275 

86. Hon. James P. Woodruff, Judge of Court of Common Pleas, 1920 300 

87. Philip P. Hubbard, Town Treasurer, and Hon. John T. Hub- 

bard, Judge of Probate, 1920 ------ 301 

88. Miss Cornelia Buxton Smith, Clerical Assistant to the Clerk of 

the Superior Court, 1920 - - - - - - - 304 

89. Frank H. Turkington, Sheriff, 1920 ------ 305 

90. John H. Lancaster, County Commissioner, 1920 - - - - 306 

91. Board of Selectmen* 1920. Seated: H. M. Richards, P. C. Burke, 

H. T. Weeks ; standing: C. L. Dudley, W. M. Murphy - - 307 

92. George H. Hunt, Town Clerk, 1920 ------ 308 

93. Hon. Thomas F. Ryan, Postmaster, 1920 ----- 309 

94. Parade of the Litchfield Fire Company, July 4, 1892 - - - 334 

95. Picnic of the Sanctum Club, 1910 : Front Row. seated : J. C- 

Barnard, R. C. Swayze, Dr. J. E. Keller, Dr. J. L. Buel, 
William H. Sanford ; Second Row, seated : S. L. Husted Jr., 
Rev. S. O. Seymour, D.D., William G. Wallbridge, Seymour 
Cunningham, William Ray, H. R. Towne, L. A. Ripley, 
Rev. John Hutchins, A. R. Gallatin ; Third Row, seated : 
J. H. Bronson, Col. A. E. Lamb; standing: B. S. Clark, 
John Lindley, William Colgate, G. M. Woodruff, Frank 
Blake, E. D. Curtis, J. P. Elton, C. H. Coit, A. A. Kirkham, 
C. R. Duffie, C. T. Payne, Abbott Foster, H. B. Lewis - 335 

96. Floyd L. Vanderpoel, President, Trumbull-Vanderpoel Company 340 

97. William T. Marsh, President, Litchfield Water Company - - 341 

98. Hon. Winfield Scott Rogers, Chairman, Bantam Ball Bearing- 

Company -----.---_ 342 

99. Miss Nellie M. Scott, President, Bantam Ball Bearing Company 343 
100. View of the Center, about i860 ------- 350 

loi. View of the Center, 1920 -------- 351 

102. Country Road in Winter, Litchfield. Photograph by William 

H. Sanford ---------- 360 

Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel, Curator, Litchfield Historical Society 



The town of Litchfield is the county-seat of Litchfield County, 
Connecticut, and is situated among the Litchfield Hills, which form 
the south-eastern foothills of the Berkshires. The Soldiers' Monu- 
ment in the Center Park stands in Latitude 41° 44' 48'' North, Longi- 
tude 73° 11' 25" West of Greenwich. The exact elevation of the 
Center ahove sea-level has, strangely enough, not been accurately 
determined. The Government survey in 1889 gave an approximate 
elevation of 1,080 feet, while a later private survey showed 1,113 
feet; but as other points on the Government map are decidedly too 
high, and some on the private map somewhat too low, the dis- 
crepancy is still unexplained. It would be a simple matter to 
determine, as the Engineering classes at Camp Columbia, the sum- 
mer school of Columbia University, which is located at the southern 
end of Bantam Lake, have brought a series of very accurate 
measurements as far as the north end of the Lake. 

The highest point in the township is the summit of Mount Tom, 
with an actual elevation of 1,291 feet; the figure 1,325, given in the 
Government's topographical map of 1889, is therefore not at all 

The original area of the township, which included the present 
town of Morris, and also a large tract of land set off to the Town 
of Torrington in 1866, was 71.9 square miles. The present area is 
48.6 square miles. 

The largest natural sheet of water in Connecticut, Bantam Lake, 
lies in part in the township. Before the separation of Morris, 1859, 
it lay entirely in the town limits. The Lake varies about seven 
feet in surface elevation between low water and flood, namely 
between 892.5 and 899.7 feet above sea level. At a surface elevation 
of 893.5 feet, the students of Camp Columbia have determined its 
area to be 916 acres, its maximum length 2% miles and its maximum 
width yg miles, the length of the shore line 91/3 miles, the average 
depth 16.1 feet, and the capacity 4,800,000,000 gallons. 

The name, Litchfield, is supposed without reasonable doubt to 
be derived from Lichfield, the Cathedral city of Staffordshire, 
England; but no tradition is preserved as to why the name was 
given. Much iiilc has been spent, to little purpose, to explain why 
the letter T has been added in the name of our town. Usually its 
insertion is laid to an inaccurate clerk at Hartford; but it is not 
at all necessary to suppose such an explanation. We shall see, in 
our quotations from the early records, how variable all spelling 


was luitil after 1750, and this was tlie case in England as much, or 
nearly as mucli as in New England. In the English records of the 
early Seventeenth Century, Lichfield is spelled Litchfield very fre- 
quently; and there is still a small village of Litchfield in the north- 
ern part of the county of Hampshire. In Windsor, where so many 
of our first settlers came from, we find resident about 1700 a 
certain John Wichfield, whose name was also often spelled Witch- 
field and gradually took this form exclusively. On the whole it 
appears that a simijle philological cause would explain the change 
as plausibly as any other. Be that as it may, all the other later 
towns of the same name in the United States have adopted our 
spelling, as well as several families of the name. 

The Indian name of the region was Bantam, a name whose deri- 
vation will be discussed elsewhere. The first explorers called the 
region by several different names. Sometimes it was the New 
Plantation, sometimes it was the Western Lands, sometimes the 
Western Wilderness, and sometimes the Greenwoods. The last 
name, derived from the great tracts of both pitch-pine and white- 
pine which were native, is particularly pleasing and we must 
regret its disappearance locally. The country around New Hart- 
ford is still spoken of infrequently by this name, and a trace of the 
old Greenwoods Turnpike from Hartford to Canaan, through Nor- 
folk, is still preserved in the designation of one of the Norfolk 

The geologic history of Litchfield is extremely interesting, as is 
that of every region where some of its varied pages can still be read 
by those qualified to do so. We are, however, concerned so urgently 
with the story of the last two-hundred years, that the hundreds of 
millions of years preceding must be dismissed in the remainder of 
this brief introductory chapter. The details given are summarized 
from an admirable account of this geologic history specially pre- 
pared by Frederick K. Morris, of the Department of Geology of 
Columbia University. 

The oldest type of rocks around Litchfield may be that called 
the Becket Gneiss, Avhich covers a large area to the north, notably 
in Torrington, Winchester, Norfolk and Colebrook, and to the south- 
west, Avest of Mount Tom, into Warren and New Milford. These 
rocks tell of an old sea into which, in the modern way, rivers poured 
their muddy waters. This sea covered all the parts where this 
Gneiss is now found, and doubtless stretched on elsewhere, so that 
all of our town would have been fine sailing. For untold years 
mud was deposited by the rivers, and limestone was forming too; 
but whether the limy matter was made by live organisms or was 
simply a chemical precipitate cannot be determined. The muds 
and limes cemented into rock, in level-lying, orderly strata, layer 
hardening upon layer. 

Then began a very slow thrusting and folding and lifting of the 
earth's crust, which with succeeding ages modified the shore line of 


our sea and built up mountains possibly as liigh as the Kockies 
now are. No trace of these mountains survives in the shapes of 
our Litchfield Hills, which shapes are of infinitely more recent 
origin, as we shall see. The importance to us of these older, vastly 
greater mountains lies in the fact that their formation, thrusting 
great masses of rock away from the center of the world, released 
the pressure which heretofore had kept more or less rigid the deep, 
hot interior of the earth. This rich material from within, the 
molten sources of our present granites, together with the eager 
gases and vapors we associate with. volcanoes, came jjushing towards 
the surface ever more insistantly and searchingly as the pressure 
was more and more relieved. They filled the natural crevices 
between the upthrust rocks, until perhaps some great mass of this 
upthrust, stratified rock was completely surrounded by the molten 
matter from below. With nothing to support it, the mass would 
sink engulfed into the underlying liquid depths, and, for aught now 
known, the liquids and gases may have reached the surface and 
built noble volcanoes. 

The chief work of the dissolved vapors from within, in the 
Litchfield region, was not however volcanic. The most volatile 
substances, water, fluorine, boron, and the rest, were concentrating 
in the upper chambers of the molten realms below, with an outward 
pressure quite beyond our conception. Eeaching at last the old 
sedimentary bottom of our ancient sea, now upthrust into moun- 
tains, they soaked into the rock as into a sponge, between its beds 
and its mica flakes, in large and small streaks, until the bedded 
rock and the molten visitors were blended so inextricably, that 
to-day one's hand, in many places, may cover a dozen alternations 
of rock tyi^e; while elsewhere long streaks of large-crystaled, glitter- 
ing rock may be found cutting through the native rock for hundreds 
or thousands of feet. Such streaks are called Pegmatites, and bring 
many of the rarer minerals from great depths to within our reach 
long after their formation. 

The so-called Becket Gneiss, then, is a compound of the old 
sediment first described and of the various igneous or molten infil- 
trations and saturations to which it was subjected. Eare traces 
of the original sediment are still found. According to the Con- 
necticut State Geological Survey's Eeport, 1906, the oldest clear 
sediment consists of what is called the "Poughquag Quartzite and 
Schist", which is mapped by Prof. Eice and Dr. Loughlan as sur- 
roimdiug Bantam Lake, except on the West and North-west. There 
are exposures of it also on the road toward Mount Tom. 

Litchfield itself lies upon the next rock to be described. This 
is the Hartland Schist, which was originally undoubtedly a 
sediment, partly limestone, partly sandstone, but mostly clay shale. 
It, too, has undergone profound burial, great heating, and complex 
injection by igneous fluids. It is more markedly modified than 
the Poughquag Schist. It is a light colored mica-schist, silvery 
smooth when fine-grained, crystalline and glittering when the mica 


flakes are large. It is full of garnets, none of whicli are of gem- 
quality, but many are decidedly handsome. Blue and white blade- 
like crystals of Kyanite, three inches long, and brown, double-ended 
crystals of Staurolite, an inch long, are common. 

Among the oldest invaders in these original sediments are the 
dark igneous rocks that once were black masses of basalt or trap. 
These quite possibly date from an igneous invasion even older than 
the one described for the Becket Gneiss, an invasion characterized 
by dark molten rocks instead of by light ones. These black rocks 
were changed by the squeezing of the earth's crust during the moun- 
tain making into the sheeted, streaked, dark, pepper-and-salt rocks 
now called Amphibolite Gneiss or Schist. Mount Tom and Little 
Mount Tom are made of it, and there is a patch of it west of the 
road from Litchfield to East Morris. 

North of Mount Prospect lies another great belt of yet another 
schist, the Berkshire Schist, probably younger than the Becket 
Gneiss. The problem of the relative ages of the schists is indeed 
a profoundly difficult one, still far from satisfactory settlement. 
All the tentative tables that have been published, such as those of 
the Connecticut State Geological Survey, are liable to revision at 
any time. All we can say with certainty is that it all happened 
very long ago, and that the present complex folding and thrusting 
of these oldest rocks are evidence that the mountains they tell of 
formed, at one time or at different times, a great area of many 
ranges. Beyond the old sea which preceded these mountains we 
are powerless to look. 

Now followed a third great series of events, the shifting of 
shallower seas over the land, the patient downwear of the first 
great mountains, the later sinkings and re-elevations of the land. 
The changes came so gradually that perhaps the world from century 
to century seemed not much less stable then than it does to us to-day. 
The changes, too, involved so vast an area than no one region con- 
tains more than a fraction of its record. The rocky mass of Mount 
Prospect is possibly a witness of this period. It is a dome of 
molten rock, of a different and, it would appear, a much later type 
than its neighbors. The hill contains many varieties of igneous 
rocks, some light, some dark in color, among which are found the 
half melted fragments of those earlier rocks already described, which 
the uprising liquid masses broke off and engulfed. Here are the 
oldest limestones, too, but wholly changed by the hot juices that 
have attacked them. Here, finally, are the ores which caused so 
much excitement about 1860; these were among the last ingredients 
to crystalize and were brought last of all to their present resting 
places by the molten energies from within. All this may have 
happened at about the time that the Appalachians were being folded 
and uplifted, the time also when the leisurely dinosaurs were about 
to start on their upward evolution. 

The next period lies almost wholly outside of the Western High- 
land. It includes the making of the red sandstones and the red 





and dark shales of the Coimecticut Valley Lowland. It was the 
time when the dinosaurs were becoming numerous and large. But 
for Litchfield the importance of the age lies in the occurrence of a 
renewed and extended volcanic activity, the last outburst of vol- 
canism known anywhere between New England and the Eocky 
Mountains. Dark lavas, rich in iron-bearing minerals, were injected 
into the earth's crust and poured liberally upon its surface from 
Nova Scotia to Virginia; and some found their way through the 
crust in our township, a part of this last crop of igneous rocks. 

In the following age arose a new series of mountains, of a shape 
and structure like the present mountains of Utah and Nevada, 
which must not be confused with those earlier mountains when the 
schists were made. This renewed splitting and tilting of the 
earth's crust necessarily left many cracks and zones of crushed 
stone called faults, into which, as well as into the less frequent 
earlier cracks, we bore hopefully for artesian water. 

Then came two geologic periods, during which the slow attrition 
of weather and time wore the mountains down again into one great 
level plain, upon which roamed the last of the dinosaurs. The 
remarkably even sky-line of our hilltops to-day marks where the 
level of this plain used to be, for our hilltops are all that is left 
of the surface of the plain. 

During the next age, a slow" uplift, with many and long halts, 
raised the whole plain, enabling the rivers and streams to cut their 
present deep valleys inch by inch. Our hills, as we know them, 
are the foundations of the ancient mountains, the remnants of the 
great plain in which the valleys have been carved by erosion. None 
of our hills are the direct result of a special upthrust. But they 
trend north and south exactly as did the mountains of which we 
see the roots. 

There was only one more period in the making of our landscape, 
the time of the ice-age, that most recent great event in geologic 
history. A sheet of ice thousands of feet thick moved out over the 
continent from centers in Canada. The part that crossed Western 
Connecticut melted upon I^ong Island. It has been asserted that 
it was not less than 1,500 feet thick where it passed over New Haven. 
Such a masterful glacier would freeze into its mass and carry 
along with it every particle of soil from the land it traversed; it 
would even attack the bed rock and tear out large and small blocks 
by simply freezing fast to them and ripping them out of their places as 
it moved gradually onward. The hills that form Long Island's 
backbone are the general dumping place of whatever materials, 
from fine clay to huge boulders, the melting ice still retained at its 
journey's end. 

As the ice melted back from off the country, it deposited sheets 
and piles of bouldery soil over all the land it had once covered. All 
the soil of Connecticut, except recent swamps and river bottoms, 
was laid down by the glacier, or by streams of melting water gush- 
ing from the ice, or in lakes formed and held in by dams of ice 


across valley outlets. Sometimes the valley outlets were dammed 
by glacial drift, wliicli remained after tlie ice had melted; then the 
lalies were permanent or gradually subsided into swamps. Most 
conspicuous of the glacial formations are the shoals of boulder clay 
formed under the ice, much as an overloaded river builds long 
shoals in its bed. The ice glided over these deposits, smoothing 
and slicking them, plastering them with fresh material and model- 
ing them into long, oval, gently rising hills. Such hills we call 
Drimilins, and they are among Nature's most graceful forms. Their 
long axis lies in the direction in which the ice moved, just as the 
river-shoal is elongated parallel to the water current. There are 
many Drumlins about Litchfield, notably on all sides of Bantam 
Lake, except on the south. Signs of the glacial action are about 
us on every hand: the stray boulders, like the famous Medicine 
Eock on Chestnut Hill ; the peat swamps, like the one on the land of 
the Litchfield Water Company, where great deposits have been 
dumped ; the beds of sand or gravel, deposited bj the streams within 
the ice sheet, or as the deltas of streams rushing out of it; Bantam 
Lake itself, which, with its tributary ponds, covered a much larger 
tract than it does now, probably including South Plain, Harris 
Plain and the Little Plain. These and others testify to us con- 
stantly of the past history of Litchfield. 

We must turn now to the story of the last two-hundred years, 
but let us not forget as we go about the roads and fields of our 
township that we can read, in the whale backs of our drumlin hills, 
in the level sky-line which was once the level plain, in the uplifted 
edges of bedded rock which are the roots of once mighty mountains, 
in the shining schists that were once sea-bottom clays and have 
been as it were through water and fire, and everywhere in the sheets 
and streaks and greater masses of molten volcanic crystalline rock, 
an infinitely greater story wherein the onlj'^ measures of time are 
the thicknesses of deposited strata, the periods of mountain build- 
ing, the forever unknowable periods of the patient wearing down 
again of the mountains by the rivers and waves and weather, 
periods in which the pulse of years beats too rapidly to be counted 
and into which our whole two centuries will ultimately merge as an 
undistinguished instant. 



The following statement of tlie conditions prevailing before 1715 
in the region in Connecticut, in which Litchfield is situated, is from 
Kilhourne, pp. 17-18: "In 1630, about ten years after the landing of 
the pilgrims on Plymouth Eock, the Avhole of the territory of the 
present State of Connecticut was conveyed by the Plymouth Com- 
pany to Kobert, Earl of Warwick. On the 19th of March, 1631, the 
Earl executed the grant since known as the Old Patent of Connecti- 
cut, wherein he transferred the same tract to Viscount Say and Seal, 
Lord Brooke, John Hampden, John Pym, Sir Eichard Saltonstall, 
and others. In the summer of 1635, the towns of Hartford, Wethers- 
field and Windsor, on the Connecticut Eiver, first began to be settled 
by emigrants from the vicinity of Boston. Still a year later, the 
Eev. Thomas Hooker and his congregation made their celebrated 
journey through the wilderness, from Cambridge, Mass., to Hartford, 
where they took up their permanent residence. In 1637, the Pequot 
War was begun and terminated, resulting in the expulsion and 
almost total annihilation of the most formidable tribe of Indians 
in the colony. 

"The first Constitution adopted by the people of Connecticut 
bears date, January 15, 1638-9. This continued to form the basis 
of our colonial government untjl the arrival of the Charter of 
Charles II., in 1662, when it was nominally superceded. Alternate 
troubles with the Dutch and Indians kept the settlers, for many 
3^ears, in a perpetual state of discipline and alarm. But while the 
political commotions in the old world sometimes agitated the other 
American colonies, the people of Connecticut had from the first felt 
that their civil rights were guaranteed to them beyond the reach 
of any contingency. The Eoyal Charter was but a confirmation of 
privileges which they had long enjoyed. l^o king- appointed Gov- 
ernor or Council annoyed them by their presence or oppressed them 
by their acts; but the voters were left to choose their own rulers 
and enact their own laws. Indeed, the influence of the crown was 
for a long period scarcely felt in the colony. On the accession of 
James II., however, in 1685, the whole aspect of affairs was changed. 
It was soon rumored that His Majesty had determined to revoke all 
the charters granted by his predecessors. The arrival of Sir Edmund 
Andros at Boston, in December 1686, bearing a commission as Gov- 
ernor of New England, was an event not calculated to allay the 
apprehensions of the people of Connecticut. His reputation was 


that of a selfish, grasping despot, bent upon enriching himself and 
immediate friends at the expense of the colonists. At this time, 
the entire region now known as the County of Litchfield, except a 
solitary settlement at Woodbury, on its southern frontier, was an 
unexplored wilderness denominated the Western Lands. To save 
these lands from the control and disposal of Andros, the Legisla- 
ture granted them to the towns of Hartford and Windsor, at least 
so much of tliem as lay east of the Housatonic Eiver. When the 
usurpations of Andros were over and the Charter had found its 
way back from the hollow of the oak to the Secretary's office, the 
Colonial Assembly attempted to resume its title to these lands; but 
the towns referred to steadfastly resisted all such claims. The 
quarrel was long kept up, but no acts of hostility were committed 
until efforts were made to dispose of the tract. Collisions then 
became frequent. Explorers, agents and surveyors, of one party, 
were summarily arrested and expelled from the disputed territory 
by the contestants." 

In May 1725 a mob broke open the Jail in Hartford and liberated 
the prisoners therein. Kilbourne and others have usually assumed 
that this occurred in connection with the arrests in the Western 
Lands; Frederick J. Kingsbury, in an address before the Litchfield 
Historical Society, 1909, attributed the riot to other causes, adding, 
however, that "while the Litchfield disturbance was not "the imme- 
diate cause of the jail delivery, the feeling engendered by it had 
doubtless infused a spirit of disregard for colonial legislation which 
made the jail delivery more easy than it might otherwise have been." 

However this may be, a compromise was presently arrived at 
between the colony on the one hand and the towns of Hartford and 
Windsor on the other, by which title to the territory of the Western 
Lands was divided between the claimants of both parties. The 
township of Litchfield was included in the share assigned to the 
towns of Hartford and Windsor. Meanwhile, the towns were not 
waiting the consent of the colony, but, as we have seen, were pro- 
ceeding with explorations and settlements on their own responsi- 
bility, and were endeavoring to substantiate their claims by pur- 
chases of the Indian rights to different parts of the Western Lands. 

"As early as the year 1657", (Woodruff, p. 7), "I find certain 
Indians of the Tunxis or Farmington tribe conveyed to William 
Lewis and Samuel Steele of Farmington, certain privileges, as 
appears by the following copy of their deed: 

"This witnesseth that we Kepaquamp and Querrimus and 
Mataneage have sould to William Leawis and Samuel Steele of 
ffarmington A p sell or a tract of land called Matetucke, that js to 
say the hill from whence John Standley and John Andrews brought 
the black lead, and all the land within eight niylle of that hill on 
every side; to dig; and carry away what they will and to build in 
jt for ye use of them that labour there; and not otherwise to improve 


ye land. In witness wliereof wee have hereunto set our hands, and 
thos Jndians above mentioned must free the purchasers from all 
claymes by any other Indyans. 

Witnes ; John Steel. William Lewis, 

february ye 8th 1657. Samuel Steele. 

The mark 
febru ye 8th 

of Kepaquamp. 

The mark 
febru ye 8th 

of Querrimus. 

The mark 0/ 
february ye 8 


This title was confirmed fifty seven years later, August 11, 1714, 
by a quit-claim deed to the same parties and their heirs by the 
Indians of these same tribes then living. The deed is given in 
full in Woodruff's History, pp. 9-11. It is extremely quaint, but 
not sufficiently important to the story of Litchfield to reprint here 
entire. It begins: 

"To all christian people to whom these presents shall come, 
Pethuzso and Taxcronuck with Awowas and ye rest of us ye sub- 
scribers, Indians belonging to Tunxses or otherwise ffarmington jn 
theyer majesties Colony of Connecticut jn New England send greet- 
ing", and continues to reconvey the Hill whence the black lead 
came. Just where this hill known as Mattatuck was has caused a 
good deal of discussion. Woodruff most plausibly supposed it to 
be in the southern part of Harwinton, embracing that town and 
also some portion of Plymouth (then Mattatuck or Waterburj) and 
Litchfield, possibly what we now know as Northfield and Fluteville. 
Certaiji it is that on the 11th of June 1718, the Farmington claimants 
relinquished whatever rights they held under these two deeds to 
Hartford and Windsor, and in lieu thereof received one-sixth of 
the whole township of Litchfield in fee. 

Meanwhile Hartford and Windsor had been busy getting a title 


of their own to the township. The affairs of the Western Lands, 
(Kilbourne, p. 19), were "transacted by committees. In 1715, these 
towns took the initiatory steps towards exploring that portion of 
the wilderness now embraced within our corporation limits, and 
purchasing whatever rights the natives possessed to the soil. It 
would be interesting to know who was the first individual of the 
Anglo-Saxon race that ever visited the localities so cherished by us 
all. The earliest record evidence is contained in an entry in the 
first Book of Eecords in our Town Clerk's ofilce, which is as 
follows : 

"The Town of Hartford, Dr. 

To John Marsh, 
May 1715, For 5 days, man and horse, with expenses, 
in viewing the Land at the New Plantation, £ 2 

The Town of Hartford, Dr. 

Jan. 22, 1715-6, To 6 days journey to Woodbury, to 
treat with the Indians about the Western Lands, 
by Thomas SSeymour, 
To expenses in the journey, 

The Town of Hartford, Dr. 

To Thomas Seymour, Committee, 

May 1716, By 2 quarts of Bum, i 

Expenses at Farmington, 

Expenses at Waterbury, 

Paid Thomas Miner towards the Indian purchase. 

Expenses at Woodbury, 

Expenses for a Pilot and protection, 

Fastening horse-shoes at Waterbury, 

Expenses at Waterbury, 

Expenses to Col. Whiting, for writing 40 deeds, 

" to Capt. Cooke for acknowledging IS deeds, 

" to Ensign Sejanour, 

" at Arnold's, 

" by sending to Windsor, 

August 4, 1718.— Sold 11 lots for £ 

Expenses for writing 20 deeds, to Mr. Fitch, 

" to Capt. Cooke for acknowledging deeds, 

"for making out a way, 

at Arnold's, 

" to Thos. Seymour for perambulating north 

" at Arnold's, 

£ 1 4 
1 14 


£ 2 18 








7 10 

2 11 

1 10 




1 10 






49 10 





1 6 




37 17 







Feb. 10, 1718. — At a meeting of tlie Committees, then sold 
16 lots reserved by Marsh, for Hartford's part, 
At same meeting, paid by John Marsh for expenses. 
At same meeting, loss of money by mistake in acc't., 
April 14, 1719. — A meeting of the Committees, expenses 
April 27. — At a meeting of the Committees, expenses. 

By the earliest of these entries, we learn that John Marsh was 
sent out from Hartford to view the lands of the New Plantation, in 
May 1715. He may, therefore be regarded as emphatically the 
pioneer explorer of this township". 

Dwight C. Kilbourn, in the Connecticut Quarterly, September 
1896, has given us a most pleasing account of this memorable trip, 
which could to-day be made in a morning's ride. "So John Marsh 
left his wife, Elizabeth Pitkin, and their seven small children, to 
spy out this land rumored to be so wonderful, and started on what 
seemed to him a perilous journey, for the Indian lurked behind the 
forest trees ready for his scalp. He had had in his Hadley birth- 
place too intimate an acquaintance with their methods to think 
lightly of their presence, and then there were bears, panthers, and 
other unpleasant companions likely to greet him. With his horse and 
flint-lock musket he started, — the first dozen miles through Farming- 
ton to Unionville was through a settled country, with good farms and 
houses, then crossing the Tunxis and entering the wilderness of 
Burlington, he could only follow over the hills the trails of the 
hunters and trappers, and wind his way from one summit to another 
as best he could, through the deep valleys and gorges of Harwinton. 
Beaching the Mattatuck he forded it a little below the i)resent 
railroad station at East Litchfield, at the old fording place, and 
began to climb the steep ascents to Chestnut Hill, and arrived 
there as the sun was beginning, to hide itself behind the moun- 
tains beyond. Before him was as beautiful a panorama as mortal 
eye could rest upon, — the Lakes sparkling in the sunset, and the 
broad meadows around them with the newly started grass, a living 
carpet of emerald spreading before him for miles with here and 
there a fringe of fresh budding trees, all inviting the weary traveler 
to rest and refresh himself. Descending the hill he crossed the' 
river near South Mill, and pitched his camp for the night near 
the big spring at the southern end of Litchfield Hill, where, a few 
years later he chose his home lot. 

"All of this fair region which he had seen was called by the 
Indians 'Bantam', and comprises large portions of the present 
towns of Litchfield, Morris, Bethlehem, Washington, Warren, and 
Goshen; and for three days he explored the beautiful, fertile hills 
and plains. The Indians were friendly, the fish plenty, game 
abundant, and the spicy perfumes of the opening buds and wild 
blooming flowers wafted to his old Puritan heart a new sense that 
softened his soul and let hun enjoy for once his natural blessings; 
instead of encountering dangers and tribulations, his journey had 


been one of rest and pleasure. On the fifth day he returned to 
Hartford. What report he made of his trip is not now known. 
That he made a favorable report is almost certain, for the next 
January Thomas Seymour was sent to Woodbury to treat with the 
Indians about these Western Lands, was gone six days, and suc- 
ceeded so well in his negotiations that John Minor, the noted magis- 
trate of ancient Woodbury, executed a deed of land, from eleven 
Indians, covering substantially the township of Litchfield as origin- 
ally laid out". 

This deed is given herewith in full, from Woodruff's History, 
pp. 13-15. "To all people to whom these presents shall come — 
TONCKQITY — Indians natives belonging to the plantation of Pota- 
tuck A\dthin the colony of Connecticut, for and in consideration of the 
sum of fifteen pounds money in hand received to our full satisfaction 
and contentment, have given granted bargained and sold and by 
these presents do fully freely and absolutely give grant bargain sell 
and confirm, unto Colo William Whiting, Mr. John Marsh, and 
Mr. Thomas Seymour, a Committee for the town of Hartford, — 
Mr. John Eliot, Mr. Daniel Griswold, and Mr. Samuel Eockwell, a 
Committee for the Town of Windsor, for themselves, and in the 
behalf of the rest of the Inhabitants of the Towns of Hartford and 
Windsor, — a certain tract of Land, situate and lying, north of 
Waterbury bounds, abutting southerly, partly on Waterbury and 
partly on Woodbury, — from Waterbury Eiver westward cross a 
part of Waterbury bounds, and cross at the north end of Woodbury 
bounds to Shepaug Eiver, and so notherly, in the middle of Shepaug 
Eiver, to the sprains of Shepaug Eiver below Mount Tom, then run- 
ning up the east branch of Shepaug Eiver, to the place where the 
said Eiver runs out of Shepaug Pond, from thence to the north end 
of said Pond, then east to Waterbury Eiver, then southerly as the 
Eiver runs, to the north end of Waterbury bounds upon the said 
Eiver; which said Tract of Land thus described. To Have and to 
Hold, to the said Col. William Whiting, Mr. John Marsh, and Mr. 
Thomas Seymor, Mr. John Eliot, and Mr. Daniel Griswold, and 
Mr. Samuel Eockwell, Conunittees for the Towns of Hartford and 
Windsor, as aforesaid, in behalf of themselves and the rest of the 
Inhabitants of said Towns, to them, their heirs and assigns, to 
use occupy and improve, as their own proper right of Inheritance, 
for their comfort forever; together with all the privileges, appur- 
tenances and conditions to the same belonging, or in any wise appur- 
taining. And further, we the said Chusqunnoag, Corkscrew, Qui- 
ump, Magnash, Kehow, Sepunkmn, Poni, Wonposet, Suckqunnok- 
queen, Toweecume, Mansumpansh, and Norkgnotonckquy, owners 
and proprietors of the above granted Land, do for ourselves and our 
heirs, to and with the above said William Whiting, John Marsh, 



Thomas Sejnuor, John Eliot, Daniel Griswold, and Samuel Eock- 
well, committee as aforesaid, them, their heirs and assigns, covenant 
and engage, that we have good right and lawful authority, to sell 
the above granted land, — and further, at the desire and request of 
the aforesaid committee, and at their own proper cost and charge, 
will give a more ample deed. 

And for a more full confirmation hereof, we have set to our 
hands and seals, this second day of March, in the second year of his 
Majesties Eeign, Annoq. D. 1715. 

Memorandum; before the executing of this instrument, it is to 
be understood, that the grantors above named have reserved to 
themselves a piece of ground sufficient for their hunting houses, 
near a mountain called Mount Tom. 

Signed sealed and deliv 
ered in our presence. 

Ohusqunnoag cii-> his mark, [l.s.] 
Weroamaug D his mark. Corkscrew rj his mark, [l.s.] 

Wognacug L^\ liis mark. 

Tonhocks -4- his mark. 

John Mitchell 
Joseph Minor. 

Quiump Q^ his mark, [l.s.] 

Magnash \ his mark, [l.s.] 

Kehow ry his mark, [l.s.] 

Sepunkum ^ his mark, [l.s.] 


his mark, [l.s.] 

Wonposet ^^^ his mark, [l.s.] 

Suckqminockqueen /^ Ms mark, [l.s.] 

Taweeume^^^^ his mark, [l.s.] 



his mark, [l.s.] 

The Indians that subscribed and sealed the above said deed, 
appeared personally in Woodbury, the day of the date thereof, and 
acknowledged the said deed to be their free and voluntary act and 
deed. Before me JOHN MINOK, Justice." 

The Committees, named in this deed, conveyed all their interest 
in said Lands, to the Towns of Hartford and Windsor, bj Deed 
dated August 29, 1716. 

"The title to this Township", continues Woodruff, p. 16, "having 
been entirely vested in the Towns of Hartford and Windsor, and in 


certain inhabitants of Farmington; in 1718, a company was formed 
for the settlement of the Town. The Township was divided into 
sixty rights or shares, three of which were reserved for pious uses. 
Purchasers having been found for the remaining fifty-seven shares, 
on the twenty- seventh of April, 1719, deeds of conveyance of that 
date, were made, by committees of the Towns of Hartford and Wind- 
sor, and certain inhabitants of Farmington, conveying to the pur- 
chasers the whole plantation called Bantam, Exclusive of the 
three rights reserved for pious uses, the consideration paid for forty- 
eight of the shares was £229.10.0., in bills of public credit. That 
paid for seven shares was £31.4.0. The deeds of the above fifty-five 
shares, are recorded on our Eecords. How much was paid for the 
remaining two shares, which were purchased by John Marsh, does 
not appear. The three home lots, with the divisions belonging 
thereto, forming one twentieth of the whole plantation, devoted to 
public purposes, were, one home lot with the divisions and commons 
thereto pertaining, to the first minister, his heirs forever; one, to 
the use of the first minister and his successors; and one for the 
support of the school. As the Township included about 44,800 
acres, the cost per acre did not exceed one penny three farthings. 

"It was provided in the Deeds, that, 'the Grantees or their sons, 
should build a tenantable house on each home lot, or on their 
division, not less than 16 feet square, and personally inhabit them, 
by the last day of May 1721, and for three years ensuing; and do 
not lease or dispose of their share for five years hereafter, without 
consent of Inhabitants or first Planters'. 

"The title thus acquired, was immediately after still further 
confirmed by Act of Assembly in May, 1719, as follows: 

"At a General Assembly holden at Hartford, May, A. D. 1719: 
Upon the petition of Lieut. John Marsh of Hartford, and Deacon 
John Buel of Lebanon, with many others, praying liberty, under 
committees appointed by the towns of Hartford and Windsor, to 
settle a town westward of Farmington, at a place called Bantam : 

"This Assembly do grant liberty, and full power, unto the said 
John Marsh and John Buel and partners settlers, being in the 
whole fifty-seven in number, to settle a town at said Bantam; the 
said town to be divided into sixty rights, three whereof to be 
improved for pious uses in said town. And the other fifty- seven 
shall be, as soon as may conveniently be, settled upon by the under- 
takers, or upon their failure, by others that may be admitted. Said 
town to be in length, east and west, eight miles three quarters and 
twenty eight rods, and in breadth seven miles and a half, being 
bounded eastward by Mattatuck Eiver, westward the bigger part 
upon the most western branch of the Shepaug Kiver, and south by 
Waterbury bounds and a west line from Waterbury corner unto 
Shepaug Eiver; said town to be known by the name of Litchfield, 
and to have the following figure for a brand for their horse kind. 


viz : 9, And the same power and privileges that other towns in this 
Colony do enjoy, are hereby granted to said town'. 

"A Patent was afterwards granted to these Proprietors, dated 
May 19, 1724, which may be seen in the Appendix. 

"The township was originally divided into sixty home lots of 
fifteen acres each, as near as could conveniently be done, and any 
deficiency there might be, was made up to the owner of the deficient 
lot, elsewhere; and still farther divided from time to time, into 
Divisions and Pitches of 4, 20, 60, and 100 acres. 

"A few individuals commenced the settlement of the town in 
the year 1720. In the year 1721, a considerable number, chiefly 
from the towns of Hartford, Windsor and Lebanon, moved on to the 
tract." Kilbourne says, p. 28, that the first settlers who came in 
1720 were Capt. Jacob Griswold, from Windsor, Ezekiel Buck, from 
Wethersfield, and John Peck, from Hartford. 

"The choice of home-lots", continues Woodruff, p. 19, "was 
decided by lot. The first lot selected was about half a mile south 
of the Court House, and next to Middle Street or Gallows Lane". 
All these selections of lots are shown in Plate I, as well as the 
names of the old streets. The second choice was half a mile still 
further south; the third three quarters of a mile west of the Court 
House, the site of the present Elm Kidge. The eleventh choice was 
the lot thirty rods next west of the County Jail corner, which sub- 
sequently the Town voted, was not fit for building a house upon. 
The Library corner on South Street was the twenty -fifth choice. The 
County Jail corner on North Street was the thirty third choice. 
Ten lots were selected on Chestnut Hill, on both sides of the road. 

"The home lot of the first minister, was located on the corner 
of North and East Streets, where now stands the house owned by 
Miss Edith D. Kingsbury; and the twenty acre division appurtenant 
thereto, was laid adjoining on the north. The home lot and twenty 
acre division for the use of the first minister and his successors, 
adjoining on the north; and the home lot and twenty acre division 
for the school, adjoining the latter on the north. 

"The highway from Bantam river, running westerly through 
the village, was laid out twenty rods wide, and called Meeting House 
Street, now called East and West Streets. That now called North 
Street, twelve rods wide, was called Town Street. That now called 
South Street, eight rods wide, was called Town Hill Street. That 
now called Gallows Lane, twenty eight rods wide, was called Middle 
Street. That now called Lake Street, four rods wide, was called 
South Griswold Street; and that now called North Lake Street or 
Griswold Street, eight rods wide, was called North Griswold Street. 
That now called Prospect Street, twenty rods wide, but soon reduced 
to seventeen rods, was called North Street. 

"The first Church, Court House, and School House stood nearly 
in the center of Meeting House Street, the Court House about oppo- 
site the center of Town Street, the Church east, and the School 
House west of the Court House". 



According to DeForest (History of the Indians of Connecticut, 
1852), Litchfield County was, before the coming of the white men 
into the State of Connecticut, 1630-1635, almost a desolate wilderness, 
so far us human habitation was concerned. He estimates that the 
Indians in the whole State at that time did not exceed six or seven 
thousand, and that these were clustered in small groups along the 
shores of the Sound and along the larger rivers, where the lands 
were best adapted for corn and where they could depend largely 
on fishing for their food supply. The occasional raids of the 
Mohawks from the Hudson River were a further discouragement to 
the Connecticut tribes from inhabiting the western forests of the 
State. As the white men arrived in increasing numbers, the Indi- 
ans were pushed back into the western wilderness, so that probably 
their numbers in Litchfield County increased very much between 
1630 and 1720; but their total numbers in the whole State decreased 
proportionately much more. Many were killed in the Pequot, 
Philip's, and the French and Indian wars ; while those who withdrew 
into the western wilderness found the lands much poorer for corn 
and the fishing greatly inferior. 

"At the time of the Litchfield settlement, therefore", says Albert 
M. Turner of Northfield, "the woods were not by any means full of 
Indians; and though Litchfield was for some years a true frontier 
town, the settlement became immediately too strong to fear being 
overcome by them. All the same the terrors of Philip's war must 
have been constantly present in the thoughts of the colony", and 
we shall see presently something of their fears and alarms. 

Cothren (History of Ancient Woodbury, 1854), gives by far 
the most detailed account of the Pootatuck tribe, tracing them back 
to 1639. Their principal encampment was near the mouth of the 
Pomperaug Eiver, so named by the English after their sachem, Pom- 
peraug, who died ten or twelve years before the arrival of the 
first settlers in 1673. The Wyantinucks, of New Milford, he con- 
siders also a branch or clan of the Pootatucks, and their sachem 
in 1720 was Weraumaug, whose name appears in the Litchfield deed 
of 1716 as a witness. At least three of the signers of that deed seem 
to have signed earlier grants to Woodbury settlers, though the spell- 
ing of the names varies somewhat. Thus Corkscrew in earlier deeds 
appears to have been called Cocksure. 

Probably the Bantams, like the Wyantinucks, were mere out- 
lying fringes of the Pootatucks. The Scatacooks of Kent, who were 


the last Indians in the County, did not exist as a tribe until 1735, 
when they were collected from various scattered remnants by Mau- 
wehu, himself a. Pequot and a wanderer. 

The chief relics of the Indians to-day are the arrow-heads, which 
are still turned up occasionally by the plough. Thirty years ago 
they were very common, though now they are rarely found. An 
admirable collection of these, from different sources, will be found 
in the latchfield Historical Society's rooms, embracing many differ- 
ent shapes and colors. Occasionally the arrow-head was grooved in 
such a way as to make the arrow rotate, so that its flight would be 
more direct and its effect on entering the body more deadly. Usually 
however rotation was provided for by the feathering. Occasionally 
larger objects, pestles and mortars, spearheads, axes, bowls and 
rude knives have been found. A fine collection was unearthed in a 
grave or deposit by the late Amos C Benton, when he opened the sand- 
pit west of his residence on the South Plain. In the autumn of 1834 a 
piece of 'aboriginal sculpture* was found, of which a long account is 
given in the Enquirer of October 2, 1834, beginning, "A discovery of a 
singular carved stone image, or bust, representing the head, neck 
and breast of a human figure, was made a few days since on the 
Bantam River, about forty or fifty rods above the mill-dam, half a 
mile east of this village". Kilbourne, p. 66, says that this curious 
relic is preserved in the Cabinet of Yale College. Since this was 
written, unfortunately, all trace of the image appears to have 
been lost. It is not in the Peabody Museum, nor is there any 
record of its accession. 

One other relic of the Indians survives in their signatures to 
the deeds of their lands. These Kilbourne omitted as being mere 
scrawls. We have copied them from Woodruff's History. Possibly 
some at least were individual marks, like a brand. Certainly in 
some of the Woodbury deeds, Nonnewaug's mark is quite plainly 
a snowshoe, and perhaps some of those on our deeds have their 
meaning if we could read them. At any rate, these marks, how- 
ever rude, were made by the red man himself, and add a distinctive 
touch to the deeds. 

In his Centennial Address, 1851, Judge Church spoke I'ather 
bitterly of these deeds, p. 26 : "There are other monuments", he said, 
"to be sure, of a later race of Indians; but they are of the white 
man's workmanship: the Quit-claim deeds of the Indians' title to 
their lands! These are found in several of the Towns in the 
County, and upon the public records, signed with marks uncouth 
and names unspeakable, and executed with all the solemn mockery 
of legal forms. These are still referred to as evidence of fair pur- 
chase! Our laws have sedulously protected the minor and the 
married woman from the consequences of their best considered acts ; 
but a deed from an Indian, who knew neither the value of the land 
he was required to relinquish, nor the amount of the consideration 


he was to receive for it, nor the import nor effect of the paper on 
which he scribbled his mark, has been called a fair purchase!" 

Certainlj'^ the price of fifteen pounds paid to the Indians for the 
township of Litchfield does not seem a munificent sum now-a-days; 
but it can easily be pointed out that the Indian himself had no legal 
title to the lands he was conveying, that the lands were of no value 
to him except for hunting and that he distinctly reserved for his 
own use the best hunting land, that on Mount Tom. Surely, when 
we recollect the general treatment of the American Indian by the 
whites, the Litchfield deeds may be considered as a model of fairness ! 
In connection wtih the Indians' reservation of rights on Mount 
Tom, it should be explained that this name probably means the 
Indians' mountain, Tom being the generic name applied by early 
settlers to any Indian, just as the English soldier is called a Tommy, 
though for quite a different reason doubtless. Possibly, Tom was 
an affectionate diminutive of Tomahawk? Certainly, the expres- 
sion Indian Tom is found not infrequently in old writings. Here 
is an anecdote from the Monitor, January 30, 1787: "The Indian 
tribes consider their fondness for strong liquors as a part of their 
character. A countryman who had dropped from his cart a keg 
of rum met an Indian whom he asked if he had seen his keg on the 
road; the Indian laughed in his face, and said: "What a fool are 
you to ask an Indian such a question; do not you see that I am 
sober? Had I met with your keg, you would have found it empty 
on one side of the road, and Indian Tom asleep on the other". 

Of direct adventures with the Indians only two authenticated 
stories are preserved, both by James Morris, in his Statistical 
Account, pp. 96-97: "In May, Captain Jacob Griswould, being alone 
in a field, about one mile west of the present court-house, two Indi- 
ans suddenly rushed upon him from the woods, took him, pinioned 
his arms and carried him off. They travelled in a northerly direc- 
tion, and the same day arrived in some part of the township now 
called Canaan, then a Avilderness. The Indians kindled a fire, and 
after binding their prisoner hand and foot, lay down to sleep. Gris- 
would fortunately disengaging his hands and his feet, while his 
arms were yet pinioned, seized their guns, and made his escape into 
the woods. After traveling a small distance, he sat down, and 
waited till the dawn of day; and although his arms were still 
pinioned, he carried both the guns. The savages awoke in the morn- 
ing, and finding their prisoner gone, immediately pursued him; 
they soon overtook him, and kept in sight of him the greater part 
of the day, while he was making his way homeward. When they 
came near, he turned and pointed one of his pieces at them: they 
then fell back. In this manner he travelled till near sunset; when 
he reached an eminence in an open field, about one mile north-west 
of the present court-house. He then discharged one of his guns, 
which immediately summoned the people to his assistance. The 
Indians fled, and Griswould safely returned to his family. 


"The capture of Griswould made the inhabitants more cautious 
for awhile; but their fears soon subsided. In the month of August 
of the year following (1723) , Joseph Harris, a respectable inhabitant, 
was at work in the woods alone, not far from the place where 
Griswould was taken; and being attacked by a party of Indians, 
attempted to make his escape. The Indians pursued him; and find- 
ing that they could not overtake him, they shot him dead, and scalped 
him. As Harris did not return, the inhabitants were alarmed, and 
some search was made for him; but the darkness of the night 
checked their exertions. The next morning they found his body 
and gave it a descent burial. Harris was killed near the north 
end of the plain, where the road turns towards Milton, a little east 
of a school house, now standing; and for a long time after this 
plain was called Harris Plain". It is said that the body of Harris 
was found at the foot of a large elm near the corner of the plain. 
This elm has long since disappeared; a younger tree now stands 
alone near the same spot, and bears a small tablet. A monument 
to Harris was placed in the West Cemetery in 1830 by popular 

"There has been but one instance of murder in this town", wrote 
Morris further in 1814, p. 98, "since its first settlement, and that was 
perpetrated by John Jacobs, an Indian, upon another Indian, in the 
month of February, 1768. The murderer was executed the same 
year". This murder created so much excitement, that a distinguished 
divine from Farmington, Timothy Pitkin, was asked to preach a ser- 
mon to the condemned man before the execution. This remark- 
able discourse has been preserved in an old pamphlet, described at 
length by D wight C. Kilbourn, (Bench and Bar, 1909, p. 341). 

In spite of the fact that the Indians did no serious damage to 
the inhabitants, beyond the murder of Harris, the possibility of 
trouble was always present. The condition of Litchfield in its 
very first years is well described by Kilbourne, p. 37, "Here and 
there, little openings had been made in the primeval forest, by the 
axes of the settlers. Forty or fifty log cabins were scattered over 
the site now occupied by this village and its immediate vicinity. A 
temporary palisade stood where our court-house now stands, and 
four others were erected in more remote parts of the town for the 
protection of the laborers at the clearings: all soon to give place to 
stronger and more permanent structures. The nearest white settle- 
ments were those at New Milford on the south west and at Wood- 
bury on the south, both some fifteen miles distant. An almost 
unbroken wilderness stretched westward to the Dutch settlements 
on the Hudson, and northward two hundred and fifty miles to the 
French villages in Canada. Without mail or newspapers, and with 
no regular means of communication with their friends in the older 
towns, they seemed indeed shut out from the world, and dependent 
on their own little circle for intellectual and social enjoyment. la 


it to be wondered at, that some of the first proprietors should have 
fled from scenes so uninviting and hazardous, even at the risk of 
forfeiting the lands they had purchased? 

"In the autumn of 1722, a war had broken out between the 
Province of Massachusetts and the Eastern Indians, and in a short 
time its direful influences were felt in Connecticut, some of which 
have already been adverted to. The savages on our borders, many 
of whom had previously manifested a peaceful and conciliatory 
spirit, gave evidence that their professions of friendship were not 
to be relied upon. In the spring of 1723, the Committee of War, 
in Hartford, sent a military corps to keep garrison at Litchfield. At 
this time, there were about sixty male adults in the town, a large 
proportion of whom had families". (See the lists of original pro- 
prietors and of first settlers in tlie Appendix). 

''Such was the apprehension of danger from the Indians, during 
this period, that while one portion of the men were felling the for- 
ests, plowing, planting or reaping, others, with their muskets in 
hand, were stationed in their vicinity to keep guard". We cannot 
help thinking, however that the picture is a little exaggerated, when 
Kilbourne adds, "The yells of the Indians at the war-dance, an omi- 
nous sound, were heard on the distant hills, and at midnight their 
signal-fires on Mount Tom lit up the surrounding country with their 
baleful gleam". Be that as it may, in August 1723 the murder of 
Harris made the settlers keenly alive to their danger. A meeting 
was held immediately "to consider of and agree upon some certain 
places to fortify or make Garrisons for the safety and preservation 
of the inhabitants". At this meeting it was resolved to build four 
outlying Forts, to supplement the one on the site of the present 
court-house. Nearly two years later, at a Town meeting. May 10, 
1725, "it was voted and agreed, that there shall forthwith be erected 
one good and substantial Mount, or place convenient for sentinels 
to stand in for the better discovering of the enemy and for the safety 
of said sentinels when upon their watch or ward; that is to say, 
one Mount at each of the four Forts that were first agreed upon and 
are already built in said Town, which Mounts shall be built at the 
Town's cost, by order and at the discretion of such men as the Town 
shall appoint to oversee and carry on the above said work. At the same 
meeting. Voted, that Joseph Kilbourn shall take the care of build- 
ing the Mount at the North Fort, and Samuel Culver shall take the 
care of building the Mount at the East Fort, and Jacob Griswold at 
the West Fort, and Joseph Bird at the South Fort". 

A letter from John Marsh to Governor Talcott written at this 
time has happily been preserved. It will be noted that an exchange 
of letters between Litchfield and Hartford once in twenty months 
was taken as a matter of course at this time: 

"Litchfield, June ye 1, 1725. To ye Hon'ble John Talcott, Gov'r. 
Sir: Knowing full well ye interest that you, our lawful governor, 
dothe feel and hath often exprest about our little settlement in this 


wilderness, I am moved to write you about our affairs once morew 
Since I was honored by writing to you aboute twentie months ago, 
our four fourts or Garresons have been built, all but some mountes 
for the convenience of Sentinnels, The Garreson at the west our 
townes men have named fourte Griswold, and the north one fourt 
Kilbourn because of the godly men who helped most to bild them. 
The other fourts one at the south end of the town and on Chestnut 
Hill, These Garresons have done our settlers great good in quiet- 
ting their fears from the wild Ingians that live in the great woods. 

"But we have been so long preserved by God, from much ha rm, 
and we praise his nam for it, and take hope for the time to come. 
Many of our people morne for there old home on the Great Kiver, but 
they are agread not to go back, 

"About the moundes at the fourtes. I am enstructed by ye 
select men to make known to you their desires that the CoUony shall 
pay for them. 

"With many and true wishes that God will preserve you and his 
CoUony for the working out of his good pleasure, I am yours most 
truly, John Marsh, Town Clerk". 

Of these forts, Morris wrote , p, 94, "Between the years 1720 
and 1730, five houses were surrounded with palisadoes. One of 
these stood on the ground near the present court-house; another 
about half a mile south; one east, and one west of the centre; and 
one in South Farms. Soldiers were then stationed here, to guard 
the inhabitants, both while they were at work in the field, and 
while they were attending public worship on the Sabbath". 

These forts, however, were not considered adequate to protect 
the settlement during these critical years. "On the 1st of April, 
1724", Kilbourne, p. 39, "John Marsh was chosen agent of the town 
'to represent their state to the General Assembly concerning the 
settlement and continuing of their inhabitants in times of war and 

"In May, the subject of the Indian disturbances in this quarter 
occupied much of the time and attention of the Council of War and 
of the Legislature, The Indians on the western lands were ordered 
to repair immediately to their respective places of residence, and 
not to go into the woods without Englishmen in company with them, 
'nor to be seen, contrary to this order, anywhere north of the road 
leading from Hartford to Farmington, Waterbury, and so on to New 
Milford'. They were warned to submit to this order on pain of 
being looked upon as enemies, and treated accordingly. Two hun- 
dred men from Hartford, Wethersfield, and Windsor, were directed 
to hold themselves in readiness to march at the shortest notice; and 
sixty more from each of the counties of New Haven, Fairfield and 
New London, with their proper officers, were called for to supply 
the garrisons at Litchfield and New Milford, when the soldiers then 
at those posts should be withdrawn. Friendly Indians were to be 


employed in scouting with the English, and twenty pounds each were 
to be paid for the scalps of the enemy Indians. An effective scout was 
to be kept marching in the woods north of Litchfield between Sims- 
bury, Westfield and Sackett's Farm, (Sharon). The thirty two 
men, sent on to scout from Litchfield were directed to be drawn off 
in ten days". During the Legislative Session of May 1725, Nathaniel 
Watson, of Windsor, and Matthew Woodruff, of Farmington, each 
presented a petition for a bounty for having shot an Indian during 
the preceding summer, while in the King's service at Litchfield. 

Among the papers on file in the office of the Secretary of State 
is the following memorandum made by Governor Talcott (Kil- 
bourne, p. 41). 

"A brief account of the minutes of the Council of War Book, of men 
sent into the service this summer, from May 24, to October 6, 1724: 

After the Assembly rose^ ten men were sent to Litchfield, till June 24, 

June 25 — Four men sent to Litchfield from Hartford. 

June 30 — Major Burr sent ten men^ and Major Eles ten men, to New 
Milford and Litchfield. 

July 2fj — Six men sent from Woodbury to keep garrison at Shepaug 
twenty days. 

August 18 — Fifteen men were improved in scouts under the command 
of Sergt. Joseph Churchill, at Litchfield and New Milford; have orders 
sent to the Sth instant of October to draw off and disband. 

October, 1724. JOSEPH TALCOTT." 

At the General Assembly, in May 1725, Joseph Churchill, of 
Wethersfield, mentioned in the preceding paragraph, presented a 
Memorial, stating that he had served for fifteen weeks at Litchfield, 
but had received no pay for Sundays. He therefore asked pay for fif- 
teen Sundays. This was granted in the Lower House, but lost in the 

"By our Town Becords it appears", (Kilbourne, p. 42), "that on 
the 15th of October, 1724, a Memorial to the General Assembly was 
agreed upon and ordered to be signed by John Marsh, in the name 
of the town, and sent to New Haven by the hand of Timothy Collins, 
to be delivered to the Court. This Memorial is not on record in Litch- 
field, but is fortunately preserved among the files in the Secretary's 
office in Hartford. It is an impressive and interesting document, 
and eloquently details the trials and perils encountered by our 
fathers : 

"A Memorial of the distressed state of the inhabitants of the Town 
of Litchfield, which we humbly lay before the Honorable General Assembly 
now sitting in New Haven : 

May it please your Honors to hear us in a few things. Inasmuch as 
there was a prospect of the war's moving into these parts the last year, the 
Governor and Council — moved with paternal regards for our safety — ordered 
Garrisons forthwith to be erected in this town. In obedience thereto, laying 


aside all other business, we engaged in that work, and built our fortifications 
without any assistance from abroad, whereby our seed-time in some measure 
was lost, and consequently our harvest this year small. The seat of the 
war in this colony (in the whole course of the concluding summer), being 
in this town, notwithstanding the special care taken of us by the Honorable 
Committee of War, and the great expense the colony has been at for our 
security^ yet the circumstances of our town remain very difficult in several 
respects. The danger and charge of laboring abroad is so great, that a 
considerable part of our improvable lands remote from the town lie unim- 
proved, whereby we are greatly impoverished, so that many of our inhabitants 
are rendered incapable of paying their taxes which have been granted for 
the settling and maintaining of our ministry and building a meeting-house, 
which we are yet destitute of, whereby that great work seems to be under a 
fatal necessity of being neglected. 

Many of our Inhabitants are drawn off, which renders us very weak 
and unable to defend ourselves from the common enemy, and the duties 
of Watching and Warding are become very heavy. 

By reason of the late war, our lands are become of little value, so 
that they who are desirous of selling, to subsist their families and defray 
public charges which necessarily arise in a new place, are unable to do it. 
Your humble petitioners therefore pray this Honorable Court would be 
pleased to take thought of our difficult circumstances, and spread the gar- 
ment of pity over our present distress^ which moves us to beg relief in 
several respects : 

1. That our deserting proprietors, who do not personally inhabit, may 
be ordered to settle themselves or others upon their Rights, which will not 
only be an encouragement to those that tarry, and render our burden more 
tolerable, but prevent much charge to the colony. 

2. That our Inhabitants may be under some wages, that they may be 
capable of subsisting in the town, and not labor under the difficulty of war 
and famine together. 

3. That some addition be made to the price of billeting soldiers, especi- 
ally for this town, where the provision, at least a greater part of it, hath been 
fetched near twenty miles for the billeting of soldiers this year. 

4. That some act be made concerning Fortified Houses, that the peo- 
ple may have free liberty of the use of said Houses as there is occasion. 

5. That there may be an explanation of the Act of the Governor and 
Council made the last summer, which obliges every proprietor of a home 
lot to attend the military, by himself or some other person in his room, as 
the law directs, in case a person hath fifty pounds in the public list; for 
many of our deserters have put off their home lots and some of their lands, 
so that many of them have not a whole Right or a home lot in this place, 
and so escape execution upon that act. 

As to the Indians hunting in our woods, we submit to your Honors' 
ordering that affair as in your wisdom you shall think best for us. 

All of which we humbly recommend to the consideration of this Honor- 
able Assembly, and ourselves your servants desiring Heaven's blessing to 
rest upon you, and that God Almighty may be with you, to direct in all 


weighty affairs which are before you, and make you rich blessings in your- 
day and generation, your humble petitioners shall, as in duty bound, ever 


In the name and by desire of the rest". 

Another petition was presented by John Marsh and others at 
the next Legislative Session, May 1725; this and the Kesolutions 
adopted as a result by the General Assembly are given at length by 
Kilbourne, pp. 43-46. It will be sufficient to reprint here the follow- 
ing Eesolutions, passed by the General Assembly at the spring ses- 
sion of 1725, 

"This Assembly, taking into consideration the diflficulties of the Town 
of Litchfield in this time of trouble with the Indians, and that sundry per- 
sons claiming Rights in said Town are not resident in the same, have there- 
fore Resolved : 

1. That each person claiming a Right or Rights in said Town, that 
shall not be constantly residing in said Town, shall pay and forfeit, towards 
defraying the public charges in defending the same, the sum of thirty 
pounds per annum for each Right he claims, and so pro rata for any time 
he shall be absent without allowance from Capt. Marsh, John Buel and 
Nathaniel Hosf ord, or any two of them ; and by the same rule of propor- 
tion for part Rights. And if any such claimer shall neglect payment of 
the said forfeiture at the time and to the Committee hereafter appointed in 
this Act, the said Committee are hereby fully empowered to sell so much of 
the lands in Litchfield claimed by such non-resident person, as will answer 
the sum so forfeited ; and all sales and alienations made of such Lands by 
the Committee, shall be good for the holding the same to the grantees and 
their heirs forever. And this Assembly appoint Major Roger Wolcott, 
Capt. Nathaniel Stanley, Esq., and Mr. Thomas Seymour, a Committee to 
take account of all forfeitures that shall arise by force of this act, and 
upon the non-payment of the same, to make sale of the Lands as aforesaid. 

And it is further ordered. That all such forfeitures shall be paid to the 
said Committee at the State House in Hartford, on the first Monday in 
June, which will be in the year 1726; and the said Committee are to deliver 
all such sum or sums as they shall receive by force of this Act, unto the 
Treasurer of this Colony, taking his receipt for the same — the said Com- 
mittee to make their accounts with the Assembly in October, provided never- 
theless that the Right of Joseph Harris is saved from any forfeiture by 
force of this Act- And it is further provided, that if any such claimer 
shall keep an able-bodied soldier in said Litchfield, who shall attend duty 
as the Inhabitants do, such claimer shall be excused for his non-residence 
during such time. 

2. And it is further enacted. That all houses that are fortified in said 
Town, shall be free for the use of the people and soldiers in the garrison. 

3. That the Inhabitants of said Town shall be allowed five shillings and 
sixpence per week for billeting soldiers. 

4. That Mounts shall be built in the Forts that are already made in 
said Town, at the public cost of the Colony. ... 

Primeval Oak 


5. That all able-bodied young men that are dwellers in said Town and 
are eighteen years old and upwards, and have no right to any Lands in 
said Town, and shall constantly reside therein until October next, and do 
duty with the Inhabitants, shall be allowed three shillings per week out of 
the Public Treasury, until October next, unless the Committee for the War 
in Hartford shall order to the contrary for part of said time. 

6. That every able-bodied man that is fit for service to the acceptance 
of the commissioned officers, that hath a Right in said Town, and shall 
constantly reside therein and do his duty according to the command of the 
captain until October next, shall be allowed out of the Treasury eighteen 
pence per week, unless the Committee for the War shall order to the con- 
trary for part of the time". 

Tliere was another side of the matter, which affected the incon- 
venience of the men drafted to help in the garrisoning of Litchfield, 
as we find from another petition submitted to Governor Talcott in 
May 1725: 

"To the Honorable Joseph Talcott, Governor of His Majesty's Colony 
of Connecticut — Whereas, When your humble Petitioners were impressed 
to come up to Litchfield to keep garrison, we were encouraged by our offi- 
cers to come, because it was but for a little while we should be continued 
here, just till the Inhabitants could get their seed into the ground. That 
business being over, and our necessity to be at home being very great, we 
humbly pray your Honor to dismiss or exchange us by the beginning of 
June ; whereby your Honor will greatly oblige your Humble Petitioners. 

Litchfield, May 23, 1725. In behalf of the rest". 

"During the summer of 1725", (Kilbourne, p. 47), "the war with 
the Eastern Indians still continued, though it does not appear that 
the people of Litchfield suffered in consequence, except in being kept 
in a state of suspense and anxiety, 

"It is not until a year later, October 1726, that the records give 
indication that any immediate danger was again apprehended by 
the people of this Town. At this date, 'upon news that the Indian 
enemy were coming down upon our frontier', it was resolved 'that 
there be forthwith thirty effective men raised in the towns of New 
Haven and Wallingford to march to Litchfield, to be under the 
direction and command of Capt. John Marsh, of Litchfield, for the 
defense of said town — twenty of whom shall be raised in New 
Haven, and ten in Wallingford; and that a Sargeant march with 
them directly from each of said towns; and that the Major of the 
County make out his orders to the Captain in said town accord- 

"Twenty effective men were at the same time ordered immediately 
to be raised in Milford, and marched to New Milford, to be under the 
command of Capt. Stephen Nobles, for the defence of that town. Cap- 
tains John Marsh and Stephen Nobles were directed at once to 'send 
forth small scouts, to call and in the name of the Assembly to com- 


mand all the friendly Indians to retire to their respective towns or 
places where they belong, and not to be seen in the woods except 
with l^nglish men'. The friendly Indians were to be employed for 
the defense of the frontiers and for scouting, and were to be paid 
eighteen pence per day while engaged in the latter service and 
twelve pence per day for warding and keeping garrison in tovms. 
Five men were directed to be sent from Woodbury for the defense 
of Shepaug until the danger should be over". 

This was the last serious alarm caused by the Indians, but 
(Kilbourne, p. 68), "Other Memorials, of a later date than those 
given, complain of the difficulties which the settlers still encountered, 
and asked for legislative interference in their behalf. Indeed for 
more than thirty years after the Garrisons were erected, they were 
resorted to with more or less frequency, by individuals and families, 
on account of apprehended danger. One of these Garrisons stood 
on Chestnut Hill and was remembered by Elisha Mason, who died 
in Litchfield on May 1st, 1858". 



The earliest records of the town of Litchfield are found in the 
Record Book of the Proprietors in Hartford and of the Town Meet- 
ings in Litchfield. This old manuscript covers all the ground from 
1715 to 1803. The long narrow pages are often difficult to decipher 
from age and from the unusual characters of the ancient caligra- 
phy. It is without doubt the most valuable and curious single 
volume in our town. Through the wise forethought of our Town- 
Clerk, George H. Hunt, these old pages have been faced with trans- 
parent silk and strongly bound, and may be consulted by those inter- 
ested at the Court House. They should be examined by all who 
are curious about old Litchfield history. 

The Proprietors' meetings occupy one end of the book and the 
Town meetings the other. Apparently the first entry of a town 
meeting is undated. "Deacon John Buel and Nathaniel Smith were 
appointed a Committee to hire a minister, and to 'make and gather 
a rate* to pay him for his services among us'. This Committee 
employed Mr. Timothy Collins, of Guilford, a young licentiate who 
had graduated at Yale College in 1718. At the next Meeting, held 
November 6, 1721, it was voted, 'that Mr. Collins be forthwith called 
to a settlement in this place in the work of the ministry'; and it 
was stipulated that he should receive fifty-seven pounds per year for 
four years, and thereafter, as follows: 'the fifth year, sixty pounds; 
the sixth year, seventy pounds ; the seventh year, eighty pounds ; and 
so to continue at eighty pounds per year' so long as he should remain 
in the pastoral office. It was also agreed to pay him one hundred 
pounds previous to the 1st day of July, 1722, and to furnish him with 
firewood". (Kilbourne, p. 28). 

"The amount of his firewood for a series of years was by vote 
to be eighty cords per annum. This provision, very liberal for the 
times, was accepted by Mr. Collins on December 12, 1721 ; he entered 
upon his labors, was ordained on June 19, 1723, and continued to be 
the minister of the Congregational Society till the 15th of November 
1752, when he was dismissed. He afterwards continued here, acting 
as a Justice of the Peace, and in the practice of Medicine, and died 
in 1776". (Woodruff, p. 21). 

Timothy Collins is referred to as eccentric, but we shall never 
know what his peculiarities were. On the whole he does not appear 
to have been the right man to start the new colony. Dissension 
arose, first over pecuniary, and then apparently over personal, mat- 


ters. His salary was liberal, as Woodruff says, but doubtless his 
expenditures were considerable also. He claimed that it was insuf- 
ficient; and a long and bitter discussion arose, which lasted for the 
greater part of his stay. Naturally the population did not want 
higher rates, and they were already burdened with many charges. 
The foundation of an Episcopal Society as early as 1745 was probably 
due in part at least to disaffection with Mr. Collins. It is at least 
noteworthy that in December of that year a Committee was appointed 
"to eject Mr. Collins from the Parsonage Eight". The year before 
this, 1744, the Town voted "not to make any rate for Mr. Collins 
under present difficulties", and at the same time a Committee was 
appointed to treat with him respecting his salary and "absence from 
the work of the ministry". On two occasions, 1751 and in 1753, 
after his withdrawal from the ministerial office, charges were brought 
against him before the Consociation and in Town Meeting, for 
unfaithfulness in his office. Both were protested against, but the 
pecuniary troubles lasted for a few years longer. Mr. Collins had 
his supporters, as well as his detractors, as is shown by his subse- 
quent election to various civil offices, such as Lister and Selectman; 
and it should be noted that the only lawsuit brought against him 
was decided in his favor. In 1755, he was appointed Surgeon of 
one of the Connecticut Eegiments in the Expedition against Crown 

"In April 1723, the inhabitants voted to build their first Church ; 
and the house was finished within three years. It was built in a 
plain manner and without a steeple. Its dimensions were 45 feet 

in leng-th and 35 in breadth At the raising, all the adult males in 

the whole township, being present, sate on the sills at once. In 
the year 1760, the inhabitants agreed to build their second church; 
and completed it in 1762. Some time after a bell was procured", 
(Morris, p. 96). 

As George C. Woodruff says, p. 26, it was probably in view of 
the construction of the first Meeting House, that the town voted, 
December 9, 1723, that "whosoever shall sell or tranceport any pine 
boards out of the Town, shall forfit ten shillings per thousand". 

The first church stood in Meeting-House Street, a little to the 
north of its center, and nearly opposite the northern extremity of 
Town Hill Street (South Street), as it now runs. 

The second church was near the same site, and was 63 feet 
long and 42 feet wide. After its completion, the old church was 
sold at auction in November 1762. 

This second church was the most justly celebrated of any of the 
two dozen or more church edifices that have been erected within our 
town limits. Here were enacted the most stirring home scenes 
of the Revolution; here Judah Champion preached for nearly fifty 
years; and here Lyman Beecher thundered against intemperance. 
Here the law students and the girls of the Litchfield Academy wor- 


shipped; here were the pews of all the distinguished families of 
the town. 

Inside, it was not at all a church such as we would recognise 
to-day. Of it Harriet Beecher Stowe wrote: "To my childish eye, 
our old meeting-house was an awe-inspiring thing. To me it 
seemed fashioned very nearly on the model of Noah's Ark and Solo- 
mon's Temple — Its double row of windows ; its doors, with great 
TTOoden quirls over them; its belfry, projecting out at the east 
[west?] end; its steeple and bell; all inspired as much sense of the 
sublime in me as Strasbourg Cathedral itself; and the inside was 
not a whit less imposing. How magnificent, to my eye, seemed the 
turnip-like canopy that hung over the minister's head, hooked by a 
long iron rod to the wall above! and how apprehensively did I con- 
sider the question what would become of him if it should fall! 
How did I wonder at the panels on either side of the pulpit, in 
each of which was carved and painted a flaming red tulip, with its 
leaves projecting out at right angles, and then at the grape-vine, in 
bas-relief, on the front, with exactly triangular bunches of grapes 
alternating at exact intervals with exactly triangular leaves. The 
area of the house was divided into large square pews, boxed up 
with a kind of baluster work, which I supposed to be provided for 
the special accommodation of us youngsters, being the loophole of 

retreat through which we gazed on the remarkabilia of the scene 

But the glory of our meeting-house was its singers' seat, that 
empyrean of those who rejoiced in the mysterious art of fa-sol-la-ing. 
There they sat in the gallery that lined three sides of the house, 
treble, counter, tenor and bass, each with its appropriate leader 
and supporters. There were generally seated the bloom of our 
young people, sparkling, modest and blushing girls on one side, 
with their ribbons and finery, making the place as blooming and 
lively as a flower-garden, and fiery, forward, confident young men 
on the other". (Autobiography, Vol. I., p. 211). 

The pews opened onto two aisles, which ran up and down the 
church, the seats occupied the other three sides of each pew, so that 
when the pews w^ere full one-third of the congregation were seated 
with their backs to the pulpit. 

The first church was never heated, though individual members 
of the congregation would bring their own foot-stoves in very cold 
weather. No stove was introduced into the second church until 
1816, when there occurred the great Stove War, about which much 
has been written. Kilbourne, p. 165, quotes the account of the 
editor of the Hartford Courant, who claims to have been a pro- 
tagonist in this famous struggle: "Violent opposition had been made 
to the Introduction of a stove into the old meeting-house, and an 
attempt made in vain to induce the Society to purchase one. The 
writer was one of seven young men who finally purchased a stove, 
and requested permission to put it up in the meeting-house on trial. 
After much difficulty, the Committee consented. It was all arranged 
on Saturday afternoon, and on Sunday we took our seats in the 


Bass, rather earlier than usual, to see the fun. It was a warm 
November Sunday, in which the sun shone cheerfully and warmly 
on the old south steps and into the naked windows. The stove 
stood in the middle aisle, rather in front of the Tenor Gallery. 
People came in and stared. Good old Deacon Trowbridge, one of 
the most simple-hearted and worthy men of that generation, had 
been induced to give up his opposition. He shook his head, however, 
as he felt the heat reflected from it, and gathered up the skirts of 
his great-coat as he passed up the broad aisle to the Deacons' Seat 
Old Uncle Noah Stone, a wealthy farmer of the West End, who sat 
near, scowled and muttered at the effects of the heat, but waited 
until noon, to utter his maledictions over his nut-cakes and cheese 
at the intermission. There had in fact been no fire in the stove, 
the day being too warm. We were too much upon the broad grin 
to be very devotional, and smiled rather loudly at the funny things 
we saw. But when the editor of the village paper, Mr. Bunce, came 
in, who was a believer in stoves for churches, and with a most 
satisfied air warmed his hands by the stove, keeping the skirts of his 
great-coat carefully between his knees, we could stand it no longer, 
but dropped invisible behind the breastwork. But the climax of 
the whole was when Mrs. Peck went out in the midst of the service! 
It was, however, the means of reconciling the whole society; for, 
after that first day, we heard of no more opposition to the warm 
stove in the meeting-house". 

Once they became accustomed to the stove, even the opponents 
to its introduction must have appreciated its warmth in the very 
cold weather. The services were very long, and were continued in 
the afternoons. The congregation went home for a meal between 
the two services, but those from out-of-town had to rely on the 
hospitality of those near the church, or on the convenience of the 
Sabbath-day Houses, Sabbaday Houses, as they were colloquially 

"At a town meeting, December 1753, liberty was voted to Isaac 
Hosford and others 'to erect a house for their convenience on Sab- 
bath Days, east of the meeting-house'. In January 1759, liberty 
was granted to John Farnham to 'set up a Sabbath-Day House in 
the highway a little north of the School House'. Capt. Edward 
Phelps erected a similar house in the middle of East Street nearly 
opposite the present Congregational church; and still another wa« 
remembered by the late Elisha Mason, which stood on the south 
side of East Street, near the present Hinsdale house. . . . These 
houses generally consisted of two rooms, each about twelve feet 
square, with a chimney between them and a fire-place in each room; 
and in such cases were erected at the expense of two or more 
families. If the cold was extreme the hired man or one of the 
sons might be sent foi'ward in advance of the family, to get the 
room well warmed before their arrival. The family, after filling 
the ample saddle-bags with refreshments, took an early start for 
the sanctuary. Calling first at their Sabbath-Day House, th^ 


deposited their luncheon. At noon, they returned to their room, 
with perhaps a few friends. The fire was re-kindled, the saddle- 
bags were brought forth and their contents placed upon a prophet's 
table, of which all partook- The patriarch of the household then 
drew from his pocket the notes he had taken of the morning ser- 
mon, which were fully reviewed, all enjoying the utmost freedom 
in their remarks. All then returned to the church. Before start- 
ing for home at the close of the afternoon service, they once more 
repaired to their Sabbath House, gathered up the saddle-bags, saw 
that the fire was left safe, and in due time all were snugly seated 
in the sleigh, and bound homeward". (Kilbourne, p. 74). 

"The subject of seating the meeting-house often came up for 
action in town meeting and produced not a little commotion. Vari- 
ous standards were used in other towns to secure a fair seating list, 
such as, Long public service. Dignity of descent. Rank in the Grand 
List, Age, and Piety. In December 1735, a Committee was appointed 
in Town Meeting to proceed as follows: 'Every man's list for four 
years past shall be added together, and every man's age be reckoned 
at twenty shillings per year, to be added to his list; and for them 
that have not four lists, they shall be seated by the last list, or 
according to the discretion of the committee'. The Committee pro- 
ceeded according to these instructions, but the result did not suit. 
Their doings were ordered to be set aside; on April 12, 1736, a new 
committee was appointed, with no other instructions than to act 
in accordance with their best judgment. Their action, for a won- 
der, was acquiesced in"., (Kilbourne, p. 58). 

''All ecclesiastical as well as school affairs were transacted in 
town meeting until the year 1768. The Second Ecclesiastical Society 
having been incorporated in South Farms in 1767, the First Society 
met for the; first time. May 9, 176S. There was little done at these 
Society's meetings, from year to year, except to appoint officers, 
Committees and Choristers. Now and then w^e find an entry of a 
different character. Thus, December 1772, measures were 'taken for 
coloring the meeting-house and putting up Electrical Rods'. At 
the same meeting, the Society's Committee were directed 'not to let 
the Town's stock of Powder and Ball to be stored in said house'." 
(Kilbourne, p. 173). To this Miss Esther H. Thompson (Water- 
bury American, March 8, 1906) has added the following reflections: 
"This measure may have been taken because some of the more con- 
servative men were not quite sure whether increasing safety or 
danger might be the result of the other vote to provide Electrical 
Rods for the church! When we remember the comparative isola- 
tion of our town and the slowness with which changes of any kind 
were then effected we are surprised at the intelligence and enterprise 
of our former townspeople as shown by this record of December 
1772, only 20 years after Benjamin Franldin, far away in Phila- 
delphia, was flying his first kite to bring down lightning from the 
skies, and only 17 years after his invention of the lightning rod! 
Ninety years later, when in the v/inter of 1861-2, the Third Con- 


gregational church was struck by lightning it is curious that dam- 
age should have been caused by a defective lightning conductor, 
possibly the identical rod of heavy links that had served on the old 

After Mr. Collins had left the church, in February 1753, the 
Town voted to call the Kev. Judah Champion, of East Haddam, a 
graduate of Yale 1751, and to offer him two thousand pounds in old 
tenor money for his settlement, and a yearly salary of eight hundred 
pounds, old tenor money. 

Mr. Champion accepted the call, was ordained July 4, 1753, and 
continued in the ministry till 1798. His salarj^ was continued till 
his decease in 1810, in his 82nd year. For the purpose of paying 
the settlement of Mr. Champion, it was voted, on June 14, 1753, to- 
lease to him so much of the Parsonage Eight as should be necessary 
for that purpose, for the term of 999 years. And on January 15, 
1754, a lease of the home lot and twenty acre division adjoining,, 
was given to Mr. Champion, in consideration of said settlement. 
This land was known later as the glebe land, and the title is pre- 
served in the name of the house oAvned by Mrs. W. W. Kockhilly 
which is called The Glebe. 

In personal appearance, Judah Champion is described as shorty 
erect, with an elastic gait; he had a frank, open countenance, that 
bespoke his sincerity and fearlessness. He exercised unbounded 
influence over his parish. As a preacher, he was ardent and elo- 
quent, though he is said to have lacked somewhat of 'discrimination 
in his theology'. This was so severe a fault in those days, that 
Dr. Bellamy, the great theologian of Bethlehem, once jocosely said 
that 'he would like to have brother Champion made over again'. 
During his pastorate, 1753 to 1798, 280 persons were added to the 
church upon the profession of their faith; he officiated at 2,142 
baptisms, 658 marriages, and 1,530 funerals. 

The subject of the minister's salary still gave continued trouble^ 
owing to the fluctuating currency. Judah Champion was so uni- 
versally beloved, however, that the matter was never allowed to- 
make the personal difficulty which it had caused with Timothy Col- 
lins. In 1779, the Society, in an endeavor to stabilize his salary,, 
voted to pay him seventy-five pounds sixteen shillings, as a year's 
salary, "in the following articles at the prices affixed. Wheat at 
four shillings per bushel; Eye at three shillings; Indian Corn at 
three shillings; Flax at sixpence per pound; Pork at twenty -five 
shillings per hundredweight; Beef at twenty shillings per hundred- 
weight; Tried Tallow at sixpence per pound; Lard at fivepence; 
Oats at one shilling per bushel". 

Mr. Champion's successor was the Eev. Dan Huntington, a 
tutor at Yale College. He was ordained in October, 1798. "During 
his ministry, a remarkable religious awakening overspread this and 
the adjacent parishes, resulting in the conversion of about three 
hundred persons among the different denominations of Litchfield. 

i." Tif--i.i-e/.t .iif,r, Sr'ri.^ ^, //67.. ;/«/»« ^./..« n, li^y 

.^1 J»*i its,- //;it.»-'/; ijwf 

LJ--*i ^irf iJ^^ S~.'fj^fS Ji.. i'%^-i^x^ *'^ ?>J. ... 

The Second Congregational Church, 1762 

From a Sketch by Miss Mary Ann Lewis 

Rev. Lyman Beecher 


'This town', says Mr. Huntington, 'was originally among the num- 
ber of those decidedly opposed to the movements of former revival- 
ists; and went so far, in a regular church meeting called expressly 
for the purpose under the ministry of Mr. Collins, as to let them 
know, by a unanimous vote, that they did not wish to see them. 
The effect was, they did not come. The report circulated, that 
Litchfield had 'voted Christ out of their borders'. It was noticed 
by some of the older people, that the death of the last person then a 
member of the church, was a short time before the commencement 
of our revival'." (Kilbourne, p. 174). 

Again the difficulties of salary arose, and finally in 1810, Mr. 
Huntington decided to leave, though with much mutual regret. In 
March, 1810, the Society voted a unanimous call to the Kev. Lyman 
Beecher, which was accepted, and he was installed on May 30, 1810. 
Litchfield was so fearful that the salary might be inadequate to a 
preacher of the reputation which Ljanan Beecher had already estab- 
lished at East Hampton, that it awaited his arrival with some 
trepidation. Happily all turned out for the best, and the sixteen 
years of Beecher's pastorate were memorable ones for the town. 

He has left us his own first Impressions of his reception. (Auto- 
biography, Vol. I., p. 185) : "I found the people of Litchfield 
impatient for my arrival, and determined to be pleased, if possible, 
but somewhat fearful that they shall not be able to persuade me to 
stay. The house yesterday was full, and the conference in the 
evening, and , so far as I have heard, the people felt as I have told 
you they intended to. Had the people in New York been thus pre- 
disposed, I think I should not have failed to give them satisfaction. 
My health is good, and I enjoy good spirits some time past; am 
treated with great attention and politeness, and am becoming 
acquainted with agreeable people". 

The following notice of Lyman Beecher is abbreviated from 
Morgan's Connecticut as a Colony and as a State, Vol. IV., pp. 285- 
286 : "... Lyman Beecher, great father of great children, who, on the 
bleak Litchfield hills and in the seething discussions of Boston, 
brought up his children in such fashion that they became a power 
for good in their generation. 

"Possibly his life did not seem to him successful; it was at 
least full of struggle. Descended from one of the original settlers 
of New Haven, he Avas graduated from Yale in 1797, and after a 
brief settlement in Easthampton, Long Island, went to Litchfield, 
where he remained for sixteen years. Dr. Beecher was a preacher 
of powerful sermons, rather than a writer of monumental works. . . 
Removing to Boston as the pastor of the Hanover Street Church, 
he encountered the Unitarian movement in its aggressive stage; 
and so strong was the feeling against such rebutting influences as 
his that when his church burned doAvn, the firemen refused to put 
out the fire. Again at Lane Seminary, Cincinnati, he struggled for 
twenty years to found a Western institution, only to be defeated at 


last by the triumphant pro-slavery party. Here, all unknown, were 
influences that were shaping the future Uncle Tom's Cabin. Dr. 
Beechers sermon on Duelling at the time of Hamilton's death at 
the hands of Aaron Burr, was very impressive; and his Views 
on Theology, and Political Atheism were read with much attention, 
Dying in 1863, he sleeps in New Haven, the place of his birth". 

E. D. Mansfield wrote of him, (Personal Memories, p. 138) : "His 
house was just across the street from Mrs. Lord's, where I boarded, 
and as my window was on that side of the house I used often to 
see him and hear his violin, of which he was very fond, sending 
forth merry tunes. It is said that he would return from a funeral 
and send forth the quickest airs from his fiddle. He was of the 
most cheerful temperament He was called the 'great gun of Cal- 
vinism', and it seemed to me the very irony of fate to see him tried 
ten years after by the Presbytery of Cincinnati for heresy in Cal- 
vinistic Theology". 

Theodore Parker once said that Lyman Beecher was the father 
of more brains than any other man in America. Little can be 
said here of these children, as only their childhood was spent in 
Litchfield. The lives of Harriet Beecher Stowe, Henry Ward 
Beecher, Isabel Beecher Hooker, the pioneer of women's rights, 
Thomas Beecher, and the rest belong elsewhere. We may at least 
give an anecdote of each of the first two during their lives in Litch- 

It was while a pupil at Miss Pierce's Academy that Harriet 
Beecher first distinguished herself in the literary line. At a public 
exhibition of the school, three of the best compositions of the year 
were read aloud by the teacher. "When my turn came", she wrote 
in after life, "I noticed that my father, who was sitting on high by 
Mr. Brace, brightened and looked interested, and at the close I 
heard him ask, 'Who wrote that composition?' 'Your daughter, Sir,' 
was the answer. It was the proudest moment of my life". The 
subject of this essay by so young a child is perhaps the most 
remarkable part of the story. It was : 'Can the Immortality of the 
Soul be proved by the light of Nature?' 

Clarence Deming had many stories of the Beechers. which he 
collected from David C. Bulkley and William Norton. He has 
described the Henry Ward Beecher of Litchfield as a stout, florid 
youngster of the stocky type, running around in short jacket, with 
a fresh and rather moonish face, fair hair, pretty closely cropped 
above, but with one of those curls plastered before the ear which 
our ancestors used to style 'soap-locks', from the chief agent used 
in their construction. 

"A little way back from their school", Mr. Deming used to tell, 
'•was an old barn with full hay mow, where the boys played during 
recess. On the crest of the mow, Henry built himself a ridge of 
hay into the rough likeness of his father's pulpit. By making a 
hole behind it, he lowered himself so as to bring the pulpit's edge 


to his chest; in some way he got hold of an immense pair of blue 
goggles, which gave him a most whimsical air. Then he would 
mount his airy perch, and begin his sermon to his school mates; 
he used no articulate words, but a jargon of word-sounds, with 
rising and falling inflections, wonderfully mimicking those of his 
father. The rotund phrasing, the sudden fall to solemnity, the 
sweeping paternal gesture, the upbrushing of the hair, were all 
imitated perfectly by the son. At the end of this novel service, by 
way of benediction, he would take off the goggles, dash away the 
front of the pulpit, double himself up and roll down the slope of 
the hay mow into the midst of his merry congregation". 

Harriet Beecher was born in Litchfield, June 14, 1811, and 
Henry Ward Beecher, June 24, 1813. The Beecher house was the 
s^ene of many happy days with all the children. Here too occurred 
some of those famous showers, of which the minister's home was 
the recipient in those generous old days. Catherine Beecher has 
left us an account of one of these, in the Beecher Autobiography, 
Vol. I., p. 325: "The most remarkable and unique of these (demon- 
strations of the affection of his parishioners after his wife's death) 
was what in New England is called the minister's wood-spell, when, 
by previous notice, on some bright winter day, every person in 
the parish who chooses to do so sends a sled load of wood as a 
present to the pastor. On this occasion we were previously notified 
that the accustomed treat of doughnuts, and loaf-cake, cider and 
flip, must be on a much larger scale than common — When the 
auspicious day arrived, the snow was thick, smooth, and well packed 
for the occasion; the sun shone through a sharp, dry and frosty 
air; and the whole town was astir. Toward the middle of the 
afternoon, runners arrived with news of the gathering of the 
squadrons. Mount Tom was coming with all its farmers; Bradley- 
>alle also; Chestnut Hill, and the North and South settlements; 
while the Town Hill gentry were on the qui vive to hunt up every 
sled and yoke of oxen not employed by their owners. Before sun- 
down the yard, and the lower rooms of our house were swarming 
with cheerful faces. Father was ready with his cordial greetings, 
adroit in detecting and admiring the special merits of every load as 
it arrived. The kind farmers wanted to see all the children, and 
we were busy as bees in waiting on them. The boys heated the 
flip-irons, and passed around the cider and flip, while Aunt Esther 
and the daughters were busy in serving the doughnuts, cake and 
cheese. And such a mountainous wood-pile as rose in our yard 
never before was seen in ministerial domains!" 

In this connection we will reprint the following account of a 
shower to the second minister at South Farms, from the columns 
of the Litchfield Monitor, May 16, 1798. It has already been 
quoted by Elizabeth C. Barney Buel, (Mrs. John L. Buel), in her 
admirable essay, The Spinning- Wheel, 1903: "On Wednesday the 
second instant, visited at the house of the Rev. Amos Chase about 
60 of his female friends parishioners, who made the very acceptable 


presentation of seventy run of Yarn to his family. In the course 
of the decent and cordial socialities of the afternoon, the ladies 
were entertained hy their pastor with a sermon adapted to the 
occasion, — from these words. Gen. XXXI. 43, 'What can I do, this 
day, unto these my daughters?'" 

Clarence Deming has told many anecdotes of the elder Beecher, 
as well as of his children. Several have to do with two of his 
chief characteristics, his absent-mindedness and his love of fishing, 
and one combines both; sometimes when the hour for a week-day 
service came, he would still be down on the Little Pond, a mile 
away, in his boat, the Yellow Perch. Then would follow the hasty 
dash up the hill behind his pastoral nag. At the end of one of 
the hasty returns, it is related that a small fish dropped from his 
coat tail pocket as he mounted the pulpit stairs. 

Lyman Beeclier's sermons were never inferior; but they were 
long, as was the wont of the day, and Mansfield has told us that 
they were also sometimes dull, but always likely to become inspired 
again with a fresh burst of eloquence. "The long, closely argumenta- 
tive discourses of 100 years ago", says Miss Esther H. Thompson, 
in the Water bury American, 1906, "while drilling the hearers to be 
close listeners and deeply logical thinkers, most certainly were 
wearisome. An old friend remembered the time w^hen on warm 
summer afternoons frequently men took off their coats in church 
and sat in their shirt-sleeves. One of our own earliest memories 
is that of a good old neighbor, who, following the custom of long 
ago, often walked by to church with no coat, only a vest and the 
whitest of shirtsleeves. Farmers, wearied with the week's unceas- 
ing toil, found their best clothes and cramped position on hard 
seats all too trying for them easily to keep awake. As sleep 
threatened to overpower them, one and another man would arise, 
shake his cramped and tired legs, stretch well his arms above his head, 
then fold them over the top of the pew door, while he stood for a 
little time before settling down again in his seat, refreshed to endure 
the remainder of the service. All was so decorously and solemnly 
done, and the occurrence so common, that no one thought of smil- 
ing or criticising. N^or was it unusual for many a wearied woman 
to take her handkerchief, a corner of her shawl, anything, to cushion 
the hard rest for her head on the seat back in front of her, and 
soothe eyes and brain by a change of position. The much ridi- 
clued carrying of dried orange peel, 'meetin' seed' (fennel and carro- 
way) to be frugally distributed among the family and munched 
during service time, was almost an act of devotion, a visible struggle 
to keep awake and receive the benefits of the exercises. In still 
earlier times the same end was accomplished through the services 
of a Tithing man, who with long pole, spiked at one end, and with 
knot or squirrel tail at the other, would prick or tickle into wake- 
fullness the sleepy or punch into submission the disorderly. Tithing 
men continued to be appointed for all the churches in town till 
after 1815". 


Lyinan Beecher was very much liked and admired throughout 
his stay. CoL Tallmadge, especially, was always endeavoring to 
do something to give him satisfaction. In the last years of Rev. 
Dan Huntington's ministry, he was instrumental in obtaining the 
Christening Bowl for the church, and in 1825 he and Julius Deming 
purchased the Communion service which is still in use. 

With the departure of Lyman Beecher, the old Church on the 
Green was taken down, and the third church erected on the site of 
the present Congregational church. We have lingered on the old 
churches for several reasons. In the first place their ministers, 
especially Judah Champion and Lyman Beecher, were very remark- 
able men; but further than this, the early Congregational church 
in New England was typical of the whole population. It was 
the established church, so far as there has ever been any such in our 
country. The church affairs were voted upon in town meetings, the 
rate to maintain the church was laid alike on all citizens until the 
first steps in toleration began to be taken, and politics even found 
their way into the pulpit. The North and South Consociations, 
which included all the parishes in the County, were reputed to 
have a great power in the nominations for local and state officials. 
And finally the customs of this church were the customs of all the 
people. They gave the early settlers of Litchfield much of their 

To quote the explanation of Arthur Goodenough, made in a like 
case: in The Clergy of Litchfield County, published by the Litch- 
field County University Club, 1909, p. xiii, "From my own point of 
view I excuse myself in part for the lack of proportion in treatment 
by assuming that the Congregational ministry was a part of the 
indigenous element which made Litchfield County to differ from the 
rest of the world, and so to be worthy of special mention, while those 
of other name represent the invasion of a cosmic influence that is 
making us like other people". 

The great changes which were to take place in Litchfield in the 
thirties were foreshadowed by nothing more strongly than by the 
passing of the church from the individual position it held in the 
Green to its himibler setting on the street, where houses and stores 
could command positions on an equal footing. As though loath to 
go, the old spire, which had been considered unsafe, showed an 
unexpected strength. Even after half of its timbers were out and 
ropes had been attached to it and carried long distances in all 
directions, a line of a hundred men and boys and two yoke of oxen 
could not move it at all. Then the remaining great timbers, one by 
one, were sawed, till the last support was gone, and the graceful 
spire trembled, tottered, then suddenly sprang forward, turning a 
somersault, and fell burying its point deep in the ground close by 
the large west door. 



The first meeting of the inhabitants of Litchfield for the elec- 
tion of Town Officers Avas held on December 12, 1721, and resulted 
as follows: 

John Marsh, Town Clerk. 

John Buel, Nathaniel Hosford, John Marsh, Selectmen. 

John Collins, (Caulkins?), Grand Jure. 

William Goodrich, Constable and Collector. 

Benjamin Gibbs, Thomas Lee, Surveyors. 

Eleazer Strong, Samuel Root, Fence Viewers. 

Daniel Culver, Haj^ward. 

Joseph Bird, Collector of Minister's Bate. 

The only other business done at this meeting was to admit an 
inhabitant, Joseph Kilbourn, of Wethersfield, who had recently pur- 
chased two Rights, one-thirtieth of the whole township, from two of 
the original proprietors, who had evidently been discouraged from 
coming to Litchfield to take up their own Rights. It is interesting 
to notice that newcomers had to be passed upom As Woodruff has 
pointed out, p. 27, "the first inhabitants were peculiarly careful 
that none but persons of good character should be permitted to 
settle among them. If a stranger made a purchase in the planta- 
tion, a proviso was sometimes inserted in the deed, that the Inhabit- 
ants should accept of the purchaser, and that he should run 'the 
risk of trouble from the Grand Committee'. On the 1st of April, 
1724, it was voted that 'the Commite of hartford and Windsor 
Chouce Inhabitance. In Cace any new are brought into town, and 
the town judg them not holsome, then to be Judged by indifrant men, 
and by them Judged Good inhabitance, the cost to be paid by Litch- 
field, if not the cost to be paid by the Commite that made Choice of 
said Inhabitantse'," 

This vote was a wise one, as it insured the growth of the settle- 
ment through the accession of a fine group of pioneers. Henry 
Ward Beecher bore testimony later to the character of these men, 
in a passage quoted by Emily Noyes Vanderpoel, (Mrs. John A. 
Vanderpoel), Chronicles of a Pioneer School, p. 29: "The early 
settlers were men of broad and liberal mould, and began their 
work upon this hilltop in a characteristic fashion. They laid out 
their streets and staked off the village common, with such generous 
breadth that they remain the delight of residents and the admira- 


tion of strangers to this day. They made such liberal provision for 
education and religion that the settlement soon became noted for 
the excellence of its schools and the commanding influence of its 

It is probable, as stated elsewhere, that the wide streets were 
planned more for the convenience of the cattle than the delight of 
the residents and strangers ; but the result to us is the same. In the 
early days, the streets were considerably wider even than they now 
are, as may be seen by pacing off the measurements given in a pre- 
vious chapter. The hill was very swampy, from the hardpan sub- 
soil, so that when the trees had been cleared alders grew up rapidly 
in the streets. Part of the hill, at least, was said to be an alder 
swamp even at the time of the arrival of the settlers. Just how- 
far this was so cannot now be determined. There is a legend that 
part of the swamp, about where Crutch's Drug-Store now is, or a 
little to the north, was so boggy that the line of South Street, Town 
Hill Street as it was then called, was laid out to the east to avoid 
it, so that North Street and South Street to-day are not a continu- 
ous line. There is another tale of a very large oak, somewhere in 
the area of our present Center Park, so beautiful, that the settlers 
laid out North Street, ToAvn Street as they called it, to the west, to 
avoid having to cut it. Neither of these stories is entirely con- 
vincing. The line of the streets at first had no resemblance what- 
soever to their course at the present day. Their width was so 
broad, that the present Library Building would have encroached 
materially into the theoretical roadway. Through this wide 
expanse of alders and grass and hummocks wound along at first 
nothing more than a footpath, then came a variety of footpaths, one 
on either side of the tract and others crossing it where convenient. 
Gradually regular roads were developed, not much more than wheel 
tracks going up and down the tract, with a wide green belt of grass 
between. This double driveway extended along both North and 
South Streets, it is said, while oddly enough, on East and West 
Streets, which then constituted Meeting House Street and which 
to-day is divided by the parks into two streets, one by the stores 
and one bj the County House, was then just one Street, running 
past the Meeting House, the School House and later the Court 
House. The story of the big oak is further rendered improbable by 
the settlers' hard struggles with the forest in general. Their only 
use for trees was to cut them down. The probable explanation of 
the discontinuity of the two streets running north and south is 
simjdy that it was most convenient to follow the natural crest of 
the hill in a more or less winding fashion, and that when later on 
the actual driveway was straightened out it would not adjust itself 
into one continuous line. As the line was broken anyway by the 
buildings then in the Green, this did not matter very much at the 

It is difficult to think of our beautiful streets as still so unkempt 
in the period of the Eevolution, that little Mary Pierce, a younger 


half-sister of Miss Pierce who kept the Academy, got lost in the 
alder bushes when sent across the street on an errand to a neigh- 
bor's house. 

The streets have been narrowed from their great early width 
by repeated town votes, granting strips of land to the abutting 
house-owners for the purposes of front yards. The earliest houses 
were built right on the road. As new strips of land have been 
given up by the town some of the nev/er houses have been built out 
onto this sometimes restricted land. A case in point is the house 
now owned by Miss Thurston on North Street. When this property 
was last transferred, it was found that a part of the dwelling was 
on restricted land, so that the town could have insisted on its being 
moved back. The matter was, however, arranged more simply by 
a release of the restriction. 

The widest of all the streets was the present Gallows Lane, 
which was then called Middle Street and as we have seen was laid 
out 28 rods wide. The present name was not given until after 
May 8, 1780, when Barnet Davenport, a young man from Washing- 
ton, who had committed several murders, was executed there. 

Eoads outside of the immediate center were also laid out gradu- 
ally, though it would appear that there was no established con- 
nection for two years between what really constituted two separate 
settlements, one on Litchfield Hill and one on Chestnut Hill. On 
December 26, 1722, it was voted to lay out a highway from Bantam 
Eiver to the Chestnut Hill home lots, "in the range where the foot- 
path now is". This vote was so popular that another town meet- 
ing was held the next day, December 27, 1722, at which it was voted 
"to lay out a highway from John Marsh's home lot to the south 
bounds; and the highway by Mr. Collins house to be continued to 
the north bounds; and the highway running east to be extended 
to the east bounds; and west, or south-west, from Thomas Pier's, 
according to the best skill of the Committee; and the highway run- 
ning north from Pier's, to be continued to the north bounds". 

The holding of town meetings on two consecutive days, as in 
the case just mentioned, was due sometimes to the rule requiring 
the adjournment of these meetings at the coming of evening. "No 
act of the town should stand in force", so ran the vote, "that was 
passed after day-light failed to record it". This regulation lasted 
for a long time; the only reference found to its abrogation is at a 
Town meeting of January 3, 1782, when it was voted that "the 
Selectmen bring in candles so that further business may be done 
this evening". 

Sometimes the convenience found in this singular regulation has 
a slightly ironical flavor, as when, on April 14, 1731, it was "Voted, 
after dark, that Mr. Collins have the choice of pews for himself and 
family". Taking into account the many difficulties encountered in 
seating the meeting-house and the debatable popularity of Timothy 


Collins, it looks as though the meeting was reserving to itself a 
loophole of escape if the minister took an advantage of this vote 
which was not to the general liking! 

Many of these early votes are quaint to our eyes. Sometimes 
the spelling appears grotesque to us: "Voted to ajurn this meeting 
to to morah Sun half an hour High at Night" ; "Voted that ye owners 
of schoolers sent to school for time to come shal find fire wood for 
je schooll". Sometimes it is the character of the business trans- 
acted that constitutes the quaintness : "Voted liberty to Mr, Collins, 
to erect a Blacksmith's Shop joining to his fence the backside of the 
meeting-house"; "Voted that James Morris and Nathaniel Goodwin 
be added to the Nuisance Committee"; "Voted a Committee to 
assist the Clerk in perusing the town votes and to conclude what 
shall be transcribed into the town book, and what not"; "Voted 
unanimously to grant permission for the Small Pox to be com- 
municated and carried on by Innoculation on Gillets Folly so called, 
it being a Peninsula or neck of land belonging to Stephen Baldwin 
in the Northern part of the Great Pond". 

This last vote is from the town meeting of March 11, 1783, and 
takes us back to the terrible Small-pox scare that passed over the 
whole country during and at the close of the Revolution. For a 
time the columns of the Monitor were filled with notices of physici- 
ans offering to inoculate in different parts of the county, though it 
would appear that the practise of inoculation in our town was care- 
fully restricted and supervised during the whole period of twenty 
years that Pest-houses were continued. 

Several applications for new establishments, if they deserved 
so high-sounding a name, are found in the votes of the Town. 

April 7, 1783: "A Petition of sundry Inhabitants of South 
Farms praying for Liberty to set up Inoculation for the Small Pox 
on Marsh's Point being read and considered was negatived", 

October 15, 1798: "Uriah Tracy was chosen Moderator. At 
which Meeting there was a written request exhibited by several 
Gentlemen of said Town of Litchfield, praying for the establish- 
ment of two or more Pest Houses in the Western part of the said 
Town for the greater convenience of inoculation to the people I'esid- 
ing in the Western part of the South Farms Society and so in the 
Society of Milton. Voted not to add to the nimiber of Houses 
already assigned by said Town for said purpose". 

The most elaborate description in the records of the conduct 
of these houses is contained in another vote, which may be quoted 
at some length, as showing the nature of such an early Hospital, 
and the fear of contagion which surrounded it: 

March 20, 1797: "Voted that permission be, and the same is, 
hereby granted to the civil Authority and Selectmen of the Town 
to give liberty for the Small Pox to be communicated by inoculation 
at the house of Daniel Lord, standing on Chestnut Hill, purchased 
by him of the heirs of Michael Dickinson, also the house of Ros- 


well Harrison, lately the property of Thomas Harrison: Places in 
the Town and at no other Place; and the Hospitals so to be opened 
shall be governed by the following rules and regulations and such 
others as the Civil Authorities and the Selectmen shall from time 
to time adopt, to wit: 

"First, that limits be proscribed over which the Person infected 
shall not be suffered to go. 

''Second, that the limits thus proscribed do not extend within 
forty rods of any public road except those necessary to be improved 
for said Purpose on which signals shall be placed at least the afore- 
said number of rods from each side of said Hospital by which Per- 
sons may acquaint themselves of the Business. 

"Third, that Captain William Bull and James Morris, Esqr,, 
he and the same are hereby appointed Overseers to appoint or 
approve of the Nurses or Tenders necessary to be employed, to give 
orders respecting the Time the Persons infected, their Nurses and 
Tenders, shall continue in the aforesaid Hospital, and also respect- 
ing their changing and coming out, and such other order and direc- 
tion as shall be judged most expedient (for) preserving the inhabit- 
ants from taking the Infection, for which service a recompense shall 
be paid by those concerned. 

"Fourth, that no Person thus infected be suffered to depart with- 
out first obtaining from said Conmiittee or some Physician by them 
appointed a Certificate giving his or their Approbation. 

"Fifth, and that each Person before inoculation do procure good 
and sufficient Bonds to answer the Penalty of the Statute in such 
case made and provided: that he or they will strictly comply with 
all and singular the foregoing Kules and Regulations and such 
others as the Civil Authority and Selectmen shall adopt, which 
Bonds shall be taken by the aforesaid Overseers. 

"Sixth, that the several Physicians shall also procure Bonds for 
security against spreading the infection through their means and 
not to inoculate anyone who shall not procure a Certificate from 
one or more said Overseers, 

"Seventh, that the Nurses and Tenders shall also procure Bonds 
not to admit any Person in said Hospital without the consent of the 
Overseers and to use all due attention to prevent the spreading the 
same through their means or neglect". 

We have no record of any casualties in Litchfield from the 
Inoculation, fortunately, but may of the people were infected. The 
beautiful and sprightly Mariann Wolcott, about whom we shall 
write more presently, was one of these, as we learn from a letter from 
her father, Gov. Oliver Wolcott Sr., to Mrs. Wolcott, March 22, 
1777: "I have this instant rec'd a Letter from Dr. Smith, of the 12th, 
wherein he tells me that you and the children have been inoculated 
for the Small Pox, and that he apprehended you was so far thro' 
it as to be out of Danger, casualties excepted, — News which is very 
agreeable to me, as I have for some time been much concerned lest 
you should take the infection of that distressing Disease unpre- 


pared- I perceive that Mariana has had it bad; he writes, 'very 
hard'. I am heartily sorry for what the little child has suffered 
and very much want to see her. If she has by this lost some of her 
Beauty, which I hope she has not, yet I well know she might spare 
much of it and still retain as much as most of her sex possess". 
(Wolcott Memorial, p. 168). 

In another letter from Dr. Keuben Smith to Oliver Wolcott Sr., 
dated April 17, 1777, is preserve<l an account of the origin of the 
scare : 

"Some soldiers having brought home the small pox, I found a 
nimiber had ventured upon innoculation without making proper pro- 
vision that it might not spread in the town. The people were much 
divided; some warmly engaged for innoculation, others as warmly 
opposed. Unhappily for me, I was chosen one of the Selectmen this 
year and was therefore under a necessity of interposing in the 
matter; and thought best, as it was against law, neither to encour- 
age or oppose, but endeavor to bring it under a proper regulation, 
in which, however, I failed of the wished for success, our counsels 
being very much divided. Several having taken in the natural 
way from those that were inocxdated, Captain Marsh was engaged 
to crush innoculation wholly ; and some people have been so unreason- 
able as to say Mr. Strong was both for and against it. Be that as 
it may, it served as a game. Both had like to have been losers." 

No accurate record has been preserved as to who Avas the last 
survivor of the original settlers of Litchfield. Supply Strong, the 
father of Jedediah Strong, lived to the age of 90, and died in 1786; 
but it is possible that others lived to a later date. Among the 
children whom the settlers brought with them into the wilderness, 
should be mentioned Zebulon Gibbs, who was only nine years old 
when his father, Benjamin Gibbs, came to Litchfield in 1720. He 
died in 1803, at the ripe age of 92 years. It so happened 
that the first male child born in the settlement was his younger 
brother, Gershom Gibbs, born July 28, 1721. We recognize in the 
latter's name the old Puritan knowledge of the Bible ; for in Exodus, 
11.22, it is written: "And she bare (Moses) a son, and he called 
his name Gershom : for he said, I have been a stranger in a strange 
land". In the Revolution. Gershom Gibbs, Avas taken a prisoner 
by the English at Fort Washington, and died in prison. The first 
white child born in Litchfield was Eunice, the daughter of Jacob 
Griswold; she was born on March 21, 1721, and was afterwards the 
wife of Captain Solomon Buel. 

Certainly the tAVO most prominent of this gallant band of men 
were John Marsh and John Buel, of Avhom Ave will quote the follow- 
ing accounts from Kilbourne, p. 70: 

"John Marsh had long been a prominent citizen of Hartford 
before he interested himself in the Western Lands; and from the 
time when he came out to 'view the new plantation' in May, 1715, 
till about the year 1738, his name was intimately associated with 


the liistorj of Litchfield. He served this town in the various 
offices within her gift during the entire period of his residence here. 
While an inhabitant of Hartford, he was often a Kepresentative in 
the Legislature, a Justice of the Peace, an Associate Judge of the 
County Court, and a member of the Council of War. He returned 
to Hartford from Litchfield in his old age, and died there. He was 
interred in the old Burying Ground back of the Center Church. His 
children remained in this town, and his descendants here and else- 
where are very numerous. 

"John Buel was about fifty years of age when he became a 
resident of this town, and had previously filled the office of Deacon 
of the church in Lebanon. He was repeatedly elected to almost every 
office within the gift of his fellow citizens, besides being appointed 
on nearly all the most important Committees. As a Deacon in the 
Church, Captain of the Militia, Selectman, Treasurer, Kepresenta- 
tive, and Justice of the Peace, he discharged his duties efficiently and 
faithfully. A brief anecdote,. as given by Mr. Powers, in his Cen- 
tennial Address at Goshen, will serve to illustrate the benevolence 
of his character: In the winter of 1740-41, a man came from Corn- 
wall to purchase some grain for himself and family, who were in 
great need, and was directed to Deacon Buel. The stranger soon 
called, and made known his errand. The Deacon asked him if he 
had the money to pay for the grain. He answered affirmatively. 
'Weir, said the Deacon. 'I can show you where you can procure it'. 
Going w-ith the stranger to the door, he pointed out a certain house 
to him saying, 'There lives a man who will let you have grain for 
your money. I have some to spare, but I must keep it for those 
who have no money'. Deacon Buel died April 6, 1746, aged 75 years. 
His wife survived him 22 years. Both were interred in the West 
Burying Ground". 

These two leaders of Litchfield Avere associated in every move- 
ment for the progress of the town. On the 6th of February 1722, the 
use of the stream of Bantam Kiver and thirty acres of land was 
voted to them, on condition that they would erect a Grist Mill and 
keep the same in order. And it was they again who were directed 
to petition the General Assembly the same year "for liberty to set 
up a church and society in Litchfield". 

They were also among those appointed to negotiate a settlement 
of the boundary line between Litchfield and Waterbury. The sev- 
eral boundaries of the township continued to be a cause of dispute 
for over fifty years, but as the bounds as finally adjusted appear to 
be satisfactory to-day, and wholly a matter of course, it is not neces- 
sary to review all the transactions that took place in detail. The 
bounds on the east and west being formed by the Naugatuck and 
Housantonic Kivers, there was little question as to their where- 
abouts. But on the north and south, the various white oak trees 
and trees with stones about them which are mentioned in the Town 
Patent were naturally open to increasing variety of interpretation 
as the years passed. The North line was run by Eoger Sherman, 


afterwards a signer of the Declaration of Independence. He lived 
in New Milford, and was appointed County Surveyor of tlie then new 
County of Litchfield in 1754, and his manuscript account of our 
northern boundary is still preserved. The determination of the 
southern bounds was a more disputatious business and no one of 
such distinction was involved in its settlement. After the settle- 
ment of the Waterbury boundary in 1722, the Woodbury boundary 
remained in dispute for some twenty years. A committee of Litch- 
field men 'perambulated' this part of the wilderness in 1727 with a 
committee from Woodbury. In 1728, two Agents were chosen to 
act in the 'controversy'. In 1731, they were re-appointed to enquire 
"what light can be had concerning our line". Taxes were laid in 
the same year and again in 1742, to defray the expenses involved in 
all this perambulating and searching. As no one could know 
where such a line did run, there never having been any carefully 
defined line anyway, the matter dragged on, and apparently adjusted 
itself in the end, for no definite record of the settlement has sur- 
vived, though the line is now happily established somehow. When 
Old Judea was set off from the town of Woodbury in 1779, under its 
present name of Washington, the boundary came up once more, the 
inhabitants of the new township arbitrarily changing the line in 
their petition for an incorj^oration so as to include within their 
limits all of Davies' Hollow and the adjoining sections of Mount 
Tom. At first the Litchfielders, in great excitement, resolved to 
defend their claim before the General Assembly, appointing Andrew 
Adams to appear for them. Finally, perhaps because of the strong 
Episcopalian sentiment in that region, which was not considered any 
too desirable at a period when the Church of England and the 
tories were always linked together, it was decided not to oppose 
the change in the line, and Colonel Adams was again appointed, 
this time to appear before the General Assembly with a petition 
that Washington be allovvred to "regulate the line of the town" in 
its own way. 

The boundaries of South Farms were established and defined 
in 1767; those of Northfield in 1794; and those of Milton in 1795, 
when each of those separate parishes was organized. Much later, 
in 1859, South Farms was set off as a distinct township under the 
name of Morris. 

'•It is an interesting fact", (Kilbourne, p. 61), "that the tovn\ 
of Goshen was organized at the house of Deacon John Buel in West 
Street. On September 27, 1738, the proprietors of Goshen, then 
called New Bantam, met there, and again on the following day, 
when the organization of the town Avas completed. Dating from 
this day, the Centennial anniversary of Goshen was celebrated on 
September 28, 1838, on which occasion an interesting historical 
discourse was delivered by the Kev. Grant Powers. Several of 
the original proprietors of Goshen were residents of Litchfield". A 
fuller account of the meetings held in Deacon Buel's house is given 
in Kev. A. G. Hibbard's History of Goshen, 1897, pp. 31-35. 


Rivalry between Woodbury and Litchfield again developed in 
connection with the establishment of the new County, and thia time 
Goshen was also a rival, not to speak of Canaan and Cornwall. 
The rivalry was over the location of the County Seat, which was 
established finally in Litchfield, and the County was called Litch- 
field County, Woodburj' had of course no chance to be made the 
County Seat, because of its remote position, but it took the oppor- 
tunity to try to organize a separate County, or to be re-annexed to 
Fairfield County. These and later attempts of the same kind were 
not successful. The claims of Goshen to be the County Seat were 
much more considerable, chiefly because of its central position in 
the territoiy. Several families who were coming into these parts 
at that time moved to Goshen in the expectation that its claims to 
leadership would be successful; among those who did so, and who 
ciime to Litchfield when, in 1751, the matter was finally decided, 
was Oliver Wolcott, who was appointed the first High Sheriff. The 
County Treasurer was John Catlin; the County Clerk was Isaac 
Baldwin; one of the Associate Judges was Ebenezer Marsh; all of 
Litchfield; the remaining County officers and Judges were from 
other parts of the County. 

The formation of the County was a most important event for 
the prosperity of Litchfield; legally, commercially, socially, and 
indirectly educationally, much of the success and prestige of Litch- 
field dates from this time. All the Courts for the County met in 
Litchfield, including the Supreme Court of Errors, and the Superior 
and County Courts. These Courts all continued to meet in Litch- 
field and not elsewhere in the County until 1873. In that year 
thirteen of the towns in the County, but not including Litchfield, 
were constituted a Judicial District, known as the District Court 
for the First District of Litchfield, with sessions at Winchester 
(the Courts sitting at Winsted), Canaan (the Courts sitting at 
Falls Village), and New Milford. This Court was abolished in 
1883 and the Court of Common Pleas for Litchfield County consti- 
tuted with sessions at Litchfield and the three towns just named. 
In 1881 the District Court of Waterbury was given jurisdiction 
over several towns in this County. In the same year Litchfield 
County was included with Hartford, Tolland, Middlesex and Wind- 
ham Counties in the first judicial District of the Supreme Court 
of Errors with sessions only at Hartford. In 1897 an act was 
passed providing for sessions of the Superior Court at Litchfield* 
New Milford and Winchester. These changes have greatly reduced 
the importance of Litchfield as a judicial center in the last fifty 

The importance which the formation of the new County gave 
to Litchfield led to a singular contrast, for we find Litchfield in 
the position of a County Seat, with its courts and other business, 
yet with no newspaper, no mail-service, no means for passenger 
travel ! 


It was a life that centered within itself to a degree that we 
•can with difficulty picture to-day. The condition of the roads, so 
far as there were any roads, prevented travel except on horseback, 
save when the snow made sleighing a possibility. Kilbourne says, 
p. 166; "Horses were trained to carry double; and it was not an 
uncommon thing to see father, mother and at least one child mounted 
on the same horse. Long journeys were sometimes taken with this 
triple load. For years after the Old Forge, in the western part of 
the town, was erected, the ore for its use was brought from the iron- 
mines of Kent in bags slung across the backs of horses; and the 
bar-iron manufactured there, was bent in the form of ox-bows and 
carried to market on horseback. Oxcarts and ox-sleds were com- 
mon, and journeys of hundreds of miles were not infrequently made 
in these tedious vehicles. Many of the ambitious and hardy young 
men of this town, who emigrated to Vermont, to the Genesee CJountry, 
and to New Connecticut, went on foot, each carrying a pack, in 
which was enclosed, as an indispensable part of his outfit, a new 
^xe. Some who thus went, became men of wealth and distinction. 

"There was no public conveyance between Litchfield and the 
neighboring or more remote towns, for a period of nearly seventy 
years after the settlement of the place commenced. As early as 
1766, it is true, William Stanton was a post-rider between Litch- 
field and Hartford; but as it is said that his journeys were per- 
fonned on horseback, the inference is that he did not make a practice 
of carrying passengers ! Indeed, during the Revolution, all regular 
t'ommunication between the interior towns was suspended, even 
where it had before existed; but expresses were sent hither and 
thither, as the exigencies of the hour might demand. Litchfield 
was on the great inland route from Boston to New Yoric, as well 
^s on that from Hartford to Westpoint, so that the travel through 
the town was very great. 

"The establishment of a weekly paper in this village, in 1784, 
-s^eemed to call for some method of obtaining and circulating the 
news. There was not a Post-Office or a Mail Route in the County 
of Litchfield; and how the subscribers contrived to get their papers 
mar well be regarded as a mystery by the publishers of our day. 
In 1789, Jehiel Saxton, a post-rider between New Haven and Lenox, 
I>assed through this town on his route, at stated intervals. In 
1790, another of this interesting class of primitive lv:;tter-carriers and 
■orrand-men, commenced his long and lonely rides over the almost 
interminable succession of hills, between the Litchfield Court-House 
and the city of New York, leaving each place once a fortnight. That 
was a proud day for Litchfield — perhaps for New York also!" 
f Kilbourne, p. 167). 

It is readily conceived that in such a state of isolation, the early 
settlers of Litchfield were more immediately concerned with laying 
out the Little Plain, where the West Cemetery now is. and with 
draining the adjacent swamps along the river into four acre meadows 
for the use of those who were working up their herds, than with th« 


great concerns of the outer world. Kilbourne notes that the First 
French War, 1744-1748, came and went without leaving a trace on 
our minute book of the town meetings. The matter of the new 
County, which was just then coming up, was a business of vastly 
greater importance to the town than how a war which was in pro- 
gress at such a distance should be decided. 

When the Last French War, 1755-17G3, began, Litchfield had 
developed so rapidly as to be ready to do its share from the begin- 
ning. At the start of the war, Connecticut raised a force of a 
thousand men, and this was gradually increased to five thousand, 
which was maintained through all the campaigns. Unfortunately, 
but a single list of the soldiers raised in Litchfield during this 
period has been preserved, and many of the names on it are of men 
who came to Litchfield to enlist. This is the pay-roll for Capt. 
Archibald McNeile's Company, in the second regiment of Connecti- 
cut Forces, for the year 1762, which is on file in the office of the 
Secretary at Hartford. This list is reprinted in the Appendix. 
Some of the officers who received commissions in these years were 
undoubtedly at the War, but it is no longer possible to say which 
ones. The list of these is as follows: 

1756: Captain Solomon Buel; ■ 

1757: Colonel Ebenezer Marsh; Captain Isaac Baldwin; Lieu- 
tenant Joshua Smith ; Ensign Abner Baldwin ; 

1758: Ensign Zebulon Gibbs; Captain Archibald McNeile; 

1760: Lieutenant Stephen Smith; Lieutenant Eli Catlin; 

.1761:. Lieutenant Isaac Moss; Lieutenant Josiah Smith; Lieu- 
tenant Asa Hopkins; Ensign Gideon Harrison; Ensign David Lan- 

1762: Ensign Lynde Lord. 
We also know that Timothy Collins was Surgeon of one of the 
Connecticut Eegiments at the battle of Crown Point. The only nar- 
rative "of service is the very laconic one made by Zebulon Gibbs: 
"I was active in the French War in the year 1756 till the year 1762, 
I was conductor of teams and horses, by which means I obtained 
the title of Captain". 

The names of the more prominent settlers and those of the men 
of action in the wars of the time will not, however, paint for us a 
true, or complete picture of those early days. More than any other 
period that has followed it was a tiuie whose real character was 
typified in those who were not men and women, as we say, of action. 
In his Centennial Sermon in 1851, the Eev. Horace Bushnell pointed 
this out in what is reallj^ an address describing the life of the 
times, which for beautj^ of style, not less than for truth of obser- 
vation and dignity of thought, is probably the finest address that 
has been delivered at any time in our town. The changing fashions, 
if the word can be used of Sermons, have not made The Age of 
Homespun one whit less striking than it was the morning the 






great Divine delivered it. The same humanizing influence which he 
brought to his interpretation of the old Calvinistic theology and 
which made his preaching appear so advanced to the Hartford of 
eighty years ago will be found in his kindly, yet always just, analy- 
sis, of Colonial life as it existed in our town and those like it. The 
address is better history than the Historical Address delivered the 
preceding day; it is better history than ever we can hope to write 
in this book; and in reprinting it herewith we can only regret that 
it has been necessary somewhat to abbreviate it. The Sermon in 
full will be found on pages 107-130 of the Centennial Book published 
in the same year, 1851. 



[Extracts from a discourse, delivered at Litchfield, on the occasion 
of the County Centennial Celebration, 1851.] 

It has often occurred to others, I presume, as to me, to wish that, 
for once, it were possible, in some of our historic celebrations, to 
gather up the unwritten part, also, of the history celebrated; thus 
to make some lit account, of the private virtues and unrecorded 
struggles, in whose silent commonalty, we doubt not, are included 
all the deepest possibilities of social advancement and historic dis- 
tinction I think you will agree with me, that nothing is more 

appropriate than to offer some fit remembrance of that which heaven 
only keeps in charge, the unhistoric deeds of common life, and the 
silent, undistinguished good whose names are written only in 
heaven. In this view, I propose a discourse on the words of King 
Lemuel's mother: — 

PEOV. 31: 28. ''Her children rise up and call her blessed". 

This Lemuel, who is called a King, is supposed by some to 
have been a Chaldee chief, or head of a clan; a kind of Arcadian 
prince, like Job and Jethro. And this last chapter of the Proverbs 
is an Eastern poem, called a "prophecy", that versifies, in form, the 
advice which his honored and wise mother gave to her son. She 
dwells, in particular, on the ideal picture of a fine woman, such as 
he may fitly seek for his wife, or queen; drawing the picture, doubt- 
less, in great part, from herself and her own practical character. 
"She layeth her hands to the spindle and her hands hold the distaff. 
She is not afraid of the snow for her household; for all her house- 
hold are covered with scarlet. Her husband is known in the gates, 
when he sitteth among the elders of the land. She openeth her 
mouth in wisdom, and in her tongue is the law of kindness. She 
looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread 
of idleness". Omitting other points of the picture, she is a frugal, 
faithful, pious housewife; clothing her family in garments prepared 
by her industry, and the more beautiful honors of a well-kept, well- 
mannered house. She, therefore, it is, who makes the center of a 
happy domestic life, and becomes a mark of reverence to her 
children : — "Her children rise up and called her blessed". 

A very homely and rather common picture, some of you may 
fancy, for a queen, or chief woman; but, as you view the subject 
more historically, it will become a picture even of dignity and 


polite culture. The rudest and most primitive stage of society 
has its most remarkable distinction in the dress of skins; as in 
ancient Scythia, and in many other parts of the world, even at the 
present day. The preparing of fabrics, by spinning and weaving, 
marks a great social transition, or advance; one that was slowly 
made and is not even yet absolutely perfected. Accordingly, the 
art of spinning and weaving was, for long ages, looked upon as a 
kind of polite distinction; much as needle work is now. Thus, 
when Moses directed in the preparation of curtains for the Taber- 
nacle, we are told that "all the women that were wise-hearted did 
spin with their hands". That is, that the accomplished ladies who 
understood this fine art, (as few of the women did), executed his 
order. Accordingly, it is represented that the most distinguished 
queens of the ancient time excelled in the art of spinning; and the 
poets sing of distaffs and looms, as the choicest symbols of princely 
women- If I rightly remember, it is even said of Augustus, him- 
self, at the height of the Roman splendor, that he wore a robe that 
was made for him by Livia, his wife. ^ 

You perceive, in this manner, that Lemuel's mother has any but 
rustic ideas of what a wife should be. She describes, in fact, a 
lady of the highest accomplishments, whose harpsichord is the distaff, 
whose piano is the loom, and who is able thus, by the fine art she 
is mistress of, to make her husband conspicuous among the elders 
of the land. Still, you will understand that what we call the old 
spinning-wheel, a great factory improvement, was not invented till 
long ages after this; being, in fact, a comparatively modern, I believe 
a German or Saxon, improvement. The distaff, in the times of 
my text, was held in one hand or under one arm, and the spindle, 
hanging by the thread, was occasionally hit and twirled by the other. 
The weaving process was equally rude and simple. 

These references to the domestic economy of the more ancient 
times, have started recollections, doubtless, in many of you, that 
are characteristic, in a similar way, of our own primitive history. 
You have remembered the wheel and the loom. You have recalled 
the fact, that our Litchfield County people down to a period com- 
paratively recent, have been a people clothed in homespun fabrics — 
not wholly, or in all cases, but so generally that the exceptions may 
be fairly disregarded. In this fact I find my subject. As it is 
sometimes said that the history of iron is the history of the world, 
or the history of roads a true record, always, of commercial and 
social progress, so it has occurred to me that I may give the most 
effective and truest impression of Litchfield County, and especially 
of the unhistoric causes included in a true estimate of the century 
now passed, under this article of homespun; describing this first 
century as the Homespun Age of our people. The subject is homely, 
as it should be; but I think we shall find enough of dignity in it 
as we proceed, even to content our highest ambition; the more, that 
I do not propose to confine myself rigidly to the single matter of 
spinning and weaving, but to gather round this feature of domestic 


life, taken as a symbol, or central type of expression, whatever is 
most characteristic in the living picture of the times we coniniemo- 
rate, and the simple, godly virtues, we delight to honor. 

What we call History, considered as giving a record of notable 
events, or transactions, under names and dates, and so a really 
just and true exhibition of the causes that construct a social state, 
I conceive to be commonly very much of a fiction. True worth is, 
for the most part, unhistoric, and so of all the beneficent causes and 
powers included in the lives of simple worthy men: causes most 
efficient, as regards the well-being and public name of communities. 
They are such as flow in silence, like the great powers of nature. 
Indeed, we say of history, and say rightly, that it is a record of 
e-vents: that is, of turnings out, points where the silence is broken 
by something apparently not in the regular flow of common life; 
just as electricity, piercing the world in its silent equilibrium, hold- 
ing all atoms to their places, and quickening even the life of our 
bodies, becomes historic only when it thunders; though it does noth- 
ing more, in its thunder, than simply to notify us, by so great a 
noise, of the breach of its connections and the disturbance of its 
silent work. Besides, in our historic pictures, we are obliged to 
sink particulars in generals aud so to gather, under the names of a 
prominent few, what is really done by nameless multitudes. These, 
we say, led out the colonies ; these raised up the states and communi- 
ties ; these fought the battles. And so we make a vicious inversion, 
not seldom, of the truth; representing as causes, those who, after 
all, are not so much causes as effects, not so much powers as instru- 
ments, in the occasions signalized by their names : caps only of foam, 
that roll conspicuous in the sun, lifted, still, by the deep underswell 
of waters hid from the eye. 

Therefore, if you ask, who made this Litchfield County of ours, 
it will be no sufficient answer that you get, however instructive and 
useful, when you have gathered up the names that appear in our 
public records and recited the events that have found an honorable 
place in the history of the County, or the Kepublic. You must not 
go into the burial places, and look about only for the tall monuments 
and the titled names. It is not the starred epitaphs of the Doctors 
of Divinity, the Generals, the Judges, the Honorables, the Govemora, 
or even the village notables called Esquires, that mark the springs of 
our successes and the sources of our distinction. These are rather 
effects than causes; the spinning wheels have done a great deal 
more than these. Around the honored few, here a Bellamy, or a 
Day, sleeping in the midst of his flock ; here a Wolcott, or a Smith ; 
an Allen, or a Tracy; a Reeve, or a Gould; all names of honor: 
round about these few, and others like them, are lying multitudes of 
worthy men and women, under their humbler monuments, or in 
graves that are hidden by the monumental green that loves to freshen 
over their forgotten resting place; and in these, the humble but good 
many, we are to say are the deepest, truest causes of our happy 
history. Here lie the sturdy kings of Homespun, who climbed 


among these hills, with their axes, to cut awaj room for their 
cabins and for family prayers, and so for the good future to come. 
Here lie their sons, who foddered their cattle on the snows, and built 
stone fence while the corn was sprouting in the hills, getting ready, 
in that way, to send a boy or two to college. Here lie the good 
housewives, that made coats every year, like Hannah, for their 
children's bodies, and lined their memory with catechism. Here 
the millers, that took honest toll of the rye; the smiths and coopers, 
that superintended two hands and got a little revenue of honest 
bread and schooling from their small joint stock of two-handed 
investment. Here the district committees and school mistresses; 
the religious society founders and church deacons; and, withal, a 
great many sensible, wise-headed men, who read a weekly newspaper, 
loved George Washington and their country, and had never a thought 
of going to the General Assembly! These are the men and women 
who made Litchfield County. Who they are, by name, we cannot 
tell: no matter who they are: we should be none the wiser if we 
could name them ; they themselves none the more honorable. Enough 
that they are the King Lemuels and their Queens, of the good old 
times gone by: kings and queens of Homespun, out of whom we 
draw our royal lineage. 

I have spoken of the great advance in human society, indicated 
by a transition from the dress of skins to that of cloth — an advance 
of so great dignity, that spinning and weaving were looked upon as 
a kind of fine art, or polite accomplishment. Another advance, 
and one that is equally remarkable, is indicated by the transition 
from a dress of homespun to a dress of factory cloths, produced by 
machinery and obtained by the exchanges of commerce, at home or 
abroad. This transition we are now making, or rather, I should 
say, it is already so far made that the very terms, "domestic manu- 
facture", have quite lost their meaning; being applied to that which 
is neither domestic, as being made in the house, nor manufacture, 
as being made by the hands. This transition from mother and 
daughter power to water and steam power is a great one, greater 
by far than many have as yet begun to conceive: one that is to 
carry with it a complete revolution of domestic life and social man- 
ners. If, in this transition, there is something to regret, there is 
more, I trust, to desire. If it carries away the old simplicity, it 
must also open higher possibilities of culture and social ornament. 
The principle danger is, that, in removing the rough necessities of 
the homespun age, it may take away, also, the severe virtues and the 
homely but deep and true piety by which, in their blessed fruits, 
as we are all here testifying, that age is so honorably distinguished. 
Be the issue what it may, good or bad, hopeful or unhopeful, it has 
come; it is already a fact, and the consequences must follow. 

If our sons and daughters should assemble, a hundred years 
hence, to hold another celebration like this, they will scarcely be 
able to imagine the Arcadian pictures now so fresh in the memory 
of so many of us, though to the younger part already matters of 


hearsay more than of personal knowledge or remembrance. Every- 
thing that was most distinctive of the old homespun mode of life 
will then have passed away. The spinning wheels of wool and 
flax, that used to buzz so familiarly in the childish ears of some 
of us, will be heard no more for ever: seen no more, in fact, save 
in the halls of the Antiquarian Societies, where the delicate daugh- 
ters will be asking, what these strange machines are, and how they 
were made to go? The huge, hewn-timber looms, that used to 
occupy a room by themselves, in the fann houses, will be gone, cut 
up for cord wood, and their heavy thwack, beating up the woof, 
will be heard no more by the passer by; not even the Antiquarian 
Halls will find room to harbor a specimen. The long strips of 
linen, bleaching on the grass, and tended by a sturdy maiden, 
sprinkling them each hour from her water-can, under a broiling 
sun, thus to prepare the Sunday linen for her brothers and her own 
wedding outfit, will have disappeared, save as they return to fill a 
picture in some novel or ballad of the old time. The tables will 
be spread with some cunning, water-power Silesia not yet invented, 
or perchance some meaner fabric from the cotton mills. The heavy 
Sunday coats, that grew on sheep individually remembered, more 
comfortably carried in warm weather on the arm, and the specially 
fine-striped, blue and white pantaloons, of linen just from the loom, 
will no longer be conspicuous in processions of footmen going to 
meeting, but will have given place to showy carriages, filled with 
gentlemen with broadcloth, festooned with chains of California 
gold, and delicate ladies holding perfumed sun shades. The churches 
too, that used to be simple brown meeting houses, covered with 
rived clapboards of oak, will have come down, mostly, from the 
bleak hill tops, into the close villages and populous towns, that 
crowd the waterfalls and the railroads; and the old burial places, 
where the fathers sleep, will be left to their lonely altitude: token, 
shall we say, of an age that lived as much nearer to heaven and 
as much less under the world. The change will be complete. 
Would that we might raise some worthy monument to a state which 
is then to be so far passed by, so worthy, in all future time, to be 
held in all dearest reverence. 

It may have seemed extravagant, or fantastic, to some of you, 
that I should think to give a character of the century now past, 
under the one article of homespun- It certainly is not the only, or 
in itself the chief article of distinction; and yet we shall find it to 
be a distinction that runs through all others, and gives a color to 
the whole economy of life and character, in the times of which we 
Thus, if the clothing is to be manufactured in the house, then 
flax will be grown in the plowed land, and sheep will be raised in 
the pasture, and the measure of the flax ground, and the number 
of the flock, will correspond with the measure of the home market, 
the number of the sons and daughters to be clothed, so that the 
agriculture out of doors will map the family in doors. Then as 


there is no thought of obtaining the articles of clothing, or dress, 
by exchange; as there is little passing of money, and the habit of 
exchange is feebly developed, the family will be fed on home grown 
products, buckwheat, Indian, rye, or whatever the soil will yield. 
And as carriages are a luxury introduced only with exchanges, the 
lads will be going back and forth to the mill on horseback, astride 
the fresh grists, to keep the mouths in supply. The meat market 
will be equally domestic, a kind of quarter-master slaughter and 
supply, laid up in the cellar, at fit times in the year. The daughters 
that, in factory days, would go abroad to join the female conscrip 
tion of the cotton mill, will be kept in the home factory, or in that 
of some other family, and so in the retreats of domestic life. And 
so it will be seen, that a form of life which includes almost every 
point of economy, centers round the article of homespun dress, and 
is by that determined. Given the fact that the people spin their 
own dress, and you have in that fact a whole volume of characteris- 
tics. They may be shepherds dwelling in tents, or they may build 
them fixed habitations, but the distinction given will show them to 
be a people who are not in trade, whose life centers in the family, 
home-bred in their manners, primitive and simple in their character, 
inflexible in their piety, hospitable without show, intelligent with- 
out refinement. And so it will be seen that our homespun fathers 
and mothers made a Puritan Arcadia among these hills, answering 
to the picture which Polibius, himself an Arcadian, gave of his coun- 
trymen, when he said that they had, "throughout Greece, a high and 
honorable reputation; not only on account of their hospitality to 
strangers, and their benevolence toAvards all men, but especially on 
account of their piety towards the Divine Being". 

Thus, if we speak of what, in the polite world is called society, 
our homespun age had just none of it: and perhaps the more of 
society for that reason, because what they had was separate from 
all the polite fictions and empty conventionalities of the world. I 
speak not here of the rude and promiscuous gatherings connected 
so often with low and vulgar excesses; the military trainings, the 
huskings, the raisings commonly ended with a wrestling match. 
These were their dissipations, and perhaps they were about as good 
as any. The apple paring and quilting frolics, you may set down 
if you will, as the polka dances and masquerades of homespun. If 
they undertook a formal entertainment of any kind, it was com- 
monly stiff and quite unsuccessful. But when some two queens of 
the spindle, specially fond of each other, instead of calling back 
and forth, with a card case in their hand, agreed to "join works", 
as it was called, for a week or two, in spinning, enlivening their 
talk by the rival buzz of their wheels and, when the two skeins were 
done, spending the rest of the day in such kind of recreation as 
pleased them, this to them was real society, and, so far, a go6d 
type of all the society they had. It was the society not of the 
Nominalists, but of the Eealists; society in or after work; spon- 
taneously gathered for the most part, in terms of elective affinity: 


foot excursions of young people, or excursions on horse back, after 
the haying, to the tops of the neighboring mountains; boatings, on 
the river or the lake, by moon light, filling the wooded shores and 
the recesses of the hills with lively echoes ; evening schools of sacred 
music, in which the music is not so much sacred as preparing to be; 
evening circles of young persons, falling together, as they imagine 
by accident, round some village queen of song, and chasing away 
the time in ballads and glees so much faster than they wish, that 
just such another accident is like to happen soon; neighbors called 
in to meet the minister and talk of both worlds together, and, if he is 
limber enough to suffer it, in such happy mixtures, that both are 
melted into one. 

But most of all to be remembered, are those friendly circles, 
gathered so often round the winter's fire: not the stove, but the fire, 
the brightly blazing, hospitable fire. In the early dusk, the home 
circle is drawn more closely and quietly round it; but a good 
neighbor and his wife drop in shortly, from over the way. and the 
circle begins to spread. Next a few young folk from the other 
end of the village, entering in brisker mood, find as many more 
chairs set in as wedges into the periphery to receive them also. And 
then a friendly sleigh full of old and young, that have come down 
from the hill to spend an hour or two, spread the circle again, 
moving it still farther back from the fire; and the fire blazes just 
as much higher and more brightly, having a new stick added for 
every guest. There is no restraint, certainly no affectation of style. 
They tell stories, they laugh, they sing. They are serious and gay 
by turns, or the young folks go on with some play, while the fathers 
and mothers are discussing some hard point of theology in the min- 
ister's last sermon; or perhaps the great danger coming to sound 
morals from the multiplication of turnpikes and newspapers! 
Meantime, the good housewife brings out her choice stock of home 
growTi exotics, gathered from three realms, doughnuts from the 
pantry, hickory nuts from the chamber, and the nicest, smoothest 
apples from the cellar; all which, including, I suppose I must add, 
the rather unpoetic beverage that gave its acid smack to the 
ancient hospitality, are discussed as freely, with no fear of conse- 
quences. And then, as the tall clock in the corner of the room 
ticks on majestically towards nine, the conversation takes, it may 
be, a little more serious turn, and it is suggested that a very happy 
evening may fitly be ended with a prayer. Whereupon the circle 
breaks up with a reverent, congratulative look on every face, which 
is itself the truest language of a social nature blessed in human 

Such, in general, was the society of the homespun age. It was 
not that society that puts one in connection with the great world 
of letters, or fashion, or power, raising as much the level of his 
consciousness and the scale and style of his action; but it was 
society back of the world, in the sacred retreats of natural feeling, 
truth and piety. 


Descending from the topic of society in general to one more deli- 
cate, that of marriage and the tender passion and the domestic felici- 
ties of the homespun age, the main distinction here to be noted is, 
that marriages were commonly contracted at a much earlier period 
in life than now. Not because the habit or the time was more 
romantic or less prudential, but because a principal more primi- 
tive and closer to the beautifu^l simplicity of nature is yet in vogue, 
namely, that women are given by the Almighty, not so much to 
help their husbands spend a living, as to help them get one. Accord- 
ingly, the ministers were always very emphatic, as I remember, in 
their marriage cermonies, on the ancient idea, that the woman was 
given to the man to be a help, meet for him. . , . What more beauti- 
ful embodiment is there, on this earth, of true sentiment, than the 
young wife who has given herself to a man in his weakness, to make 
him strong; to enter into the hard battle of his life and bear the 
brunt of it with him; to go down with him in disaster, if he fails, 
and cling to him for what he is; to rise with him, if he rises; and 
share a two- fold joy with him in the competence achieved; remem- 
bering, both of them, how it grew, by little and little, and by what 
methods of frugal industry it was nourished; having it also, not as 
his, but theirs, the reward of their common perseverance, and the 
token of their consolidated love 

The close necessities of these more primitive days connected 
many homely incidents Avith marriage, which, however, rather 
heighten the picturesque simplicity than disparage the beauty of its 
attractions. The question of the outfit, the question of ways and 
means, the homely prudence pulling back the heroics of faith and 
passion only to make them more heroic at last; all these you will 
readily imagine. 

I suppose many of my audience may have heard of the dis- 
tinguished Christian minister, still living in the embers of extreme 
old age, who came to the point, not of a flight in the winter,) (Taut 
of marriage, and partly by reason of the Revolution then in pro- 
gress, could find no way to obtain the necessary wedding suit. 
Whereupon, the young woman's benevolent mother had some of 
her sheep sheared and sewed up in blankets to keep them from perish- 
ing with cold, that the much required felicity might be consummated. 

But the schools, — we must not pass by these, if we are to form a 
truthful and sufficient picture of the homespun days. The school- 
master did not exactly go round the district to fit out the children's 
minds with learning, as the shoe-maker often did to fit their feet 
with shoes, or the tailors to measure and cut for their bodies; but, 
to come as near it as possible, he boarded round (a custom not yet 
gone by), and the wood for the common fire was supplied in a way 
equally primitive, by contribution of loads from the several families, 
according to their several quantities of childhood. The children 
were all clothed alike in homespun ; and the only signs of aristocracy 
were, that some were clean and some a degree less so, some in fine 
white and striped linen, some in brown tow crash ; and, in particular, 


as I remember, with a certain feeling of quality I do not like to 
express, the good fathers of some testified the opinion they had 
of their children by bringing fine round loads of hickory wood to 
warm them, while some others, I regret to say, brought only scanty, 
scraggy, ill-looking heaps of green oak, white birch, and hemlocks 
Indeed, about all the bickerings of quality among the children, 
centered in the quality of the wood pile. There was no complaint 
in those days of the want of ventilation; for the large open fire- 
place held a considerable fraction of a cord of wood, and the win- 
dows took in just enough air to supply the combustion. Besides^ 
the bigger lads were occasionally ventilated, by being sent out to cut 
wood enough to keep the fire in action. The seats were made of the 
outer slabs from the saw-mill, supported by slant legs driven into 
and a proper distance through augur holes, and plained smooth on 
the top by the rather tardy process of friction. But the spelling 
went on bravely, and we ciphered away again and again, always 
till we got through Loss and Gain. The more advanced of us too 
made light work of Lindley Murray, and went on to the parsing, 
finally, of the extracts from Shakespeare and Milton, till some of 
us began to think we had mastered their tough sentences in a more 
consequential sense of the tenn than was exactly true. . . . 

Passing from the school to the church, or rather I should say 
to the meeting house, (good translation, whether meant or not, of 
what is older and more venerable than church, namely synagogue) , 
here again you meet the picture of a sturdy homespun worship. 
Probably it stands on some hill, midway between three or four 
valleys, whither the tribes go up to worship, and when the snow- 
drifts are deepest go literally from strength to strength. There is 
no furnace or stove, save the foot-stoves that are filled from the 
fires of the neighboring houses, and brought in partly as a rather 
formal compliment to the delicacy of the tender sex, and sometimes 
because they are really wanted. The dress of the assembly is mostly 
homespun, indicating only slight distinctions of quality in the wor- 
shippers. They are seated according to age, the old king Lemuels 
and their queens in the front near the pulpit, and the younger Lem- 
uels farther back, enclosed in pews, sitting back to back, impounded, 
all, for deep thought and spiritual digestion; only the deacons, sit- 
ting close under the pulpit, by themselves, to receive, as their dis- 
tinctive honor, the more perpendicular droppings of the word. 
Clean round the front of the gallery is drawn a single row of choir, 
headed by the key-pipe, in the center. The pulpit is overhung by 
an august wooden canopy, called a. sounding board: study general 
of course and first lesson of mystery to the eyes of the children, 
until what time their ears are opened to understand the spoken 

There is no affectation of seriousness in the assembly, no manner- 
ism of worship ; some would say too little of the manner of worship. 
They think of nothing in fact save what meets their intelligence and 
enters into them by that method. They appear like men who have 


-^ ,si n « 1 

ii!ii illili 


Oh > 



Rev. Truman Marsh 


a digestion for strong meat, and have no conception that trifles more 
delicate can be of any account to feed the system. Nothing is dull 
that has the matter in it, nothing long that has not exhausted the 
matter. If the minister speaks in his great coat and thick gloves 
or mittens, if the howling blasts of winter blow in across the assem- 
bly fresh streams of ventilation that move the hair upon their 
heads, they are none the less content, if only he gives them good 
•trong exercise. Under their hard and, as some would say, stolid faces, 
great thoughts are brewing, and these keej) them warm. Free will, 
fixed fate, fore-knowledge absolute, trinity, redemption, special grace, 
eternity: give them anything high enough, and the tough muscles 
of their inward man will be climbing sturdily into it ; and if they go 
away having something to think of, they have had a good day. A 
perceptible glow will kindle in their hard faces, only when some 
one of the chief apostles, a Day, a Smith, or a Bellamy, has com^ 
to lead them up some higher pinnacle of thought, or pile upon 
their sturdy mind some heavier weight of argument : fainting never 
under any weight, even that which, to the foreign critics of the dis- 
courses preached by them and others of their day, it seems impossi- 
ble for any, the most cultivated audience in the world, to have sup- 
ported. Oh, these royal men of homespun, how great a thing to 
them was religion ! The district school was there, the great Bellamy 
is here, among the highest peaks and solitudes of divine govern- 
ment, and between is close living and hard work, and they are kings 
alike in all! 

True there was a rigor in their piety, a want of gentle feeling; 
their Christian graces were cast-iron shapes, answering with a hard 
metallic ring, but they stood the rough wear of life none the less 
durably for the excessive hardness of their temperament, kept 
their families and communities none the less truly, though it may 
be less benignly, under the sense of God and religion. If we find 
something to modify, or soften, in their over-rigid notions of Chris- 
tian living, it is yet something to know that what we are they have 
made us, and that, when we have done better for the ages that 
come after us, we shall have a more certain right to blame their 

View them as we may, there is yet, and always will be, some- 
thing magnificent, in their stern, practical fidelity to their prin- 
ciples. . . . 

Kegarding now, the homespun age as represented in these pic- 
tures of the social and religious life, we need, in order to a full 
understanding, or conception of the powers and the possibilities of 
success embodied in it, to go a step farther; to descend into the 
practical struggle of common life, and see how the muscle of energy 
and victory is developed, under its close necessities. 

The sons and daughters grew up, all, as you will perceive, in the 
closest habits of industry. The keen jockey way of whittling out 
a living by small bargains sharply turned, which many suppose to 
be an essential characteristic of the Yankee race is yet no proper 


inbred distinction, but only a casual result, or incident, that per- 
tains to the transition period between the small, stringent way of 
life in the previous times of home-production, and the new age of 
trade. In these olden times, these genuine days of homespun, they 
supposed, in their simplicity, that thrift represented work, and 
looked about seldom for any more delicate or sharper way of getting 
on. They did not call a man's property his fortune, but they 
spoke of one or another as being worth so much; conceiving that he 
had it laid up as the reward or fruit of his deservings. The house 
was a factory on the farm, the farm a grower and producer for 
the house. The exchanges went on briskly enough but required 
neither money nor trade. No affectation of polite living, no languish- 
ing airs of delicacy and softness in doors, had begun to make the 
fathers and sons impatient of hard work out of doors, and set them 
at contriving some easier and more plausible way of living. Their 
very dress represented work, and they went out as men whom the 
wives and daughters had dressed for work; facing all weather, cold 
and hot, wet and dry, wrestling with the plow on the stony-sided hills, 
digging out the rocks by hard lifting and a good many very prac- 
tical experiments in mechanics, dressing the flax, threshing the rye, 
dragging home in the deep snows the great wood pile of the year's 
consumption; and then, when the day is ended, having no loose 
money to spend in taverns, taking their recreation, all together, 
in reading, or singing, or happy talk, or silent looking in the fire, 
and finally in sleep, to rise again, with the sun, and pray over the 
family Bible for just such another good day as the last. And so they 
lived, working out, each year, a little advance of thrift, just within 
the line of comfort. 

The picture still holds, in part, though greatly modified by the 
softened manner of indoor life, and the multiplied agencies of emi- 
gration, travel, trade and machinery. It is, on the whole, a hard and 
over-severe picture, and yet a picture that embodies the highest 
points of merit, connects the noblest results of character. Out of 
it, in one view, come all the successes we commemorate on this fes- 
tive occasion- 
No mode of life was ever more expensive; it was life, at the 
expense of labor too stringent to allow the highest culture and the 
most proper enjoyment. Even the dr^ts of it was more expensive 
than we shall ever see again. Still it was a life of honesty, and 
simple content, and sturdy victory. Immoralities, that rot down 
the vigor and humble the consciousness of families, were as much 
less frequent, as they had less thought of adventure, less to do 
with travel, and trade, and money, and were closer to nature and 
the simple life of home. 

If they were sometime drudged by their over-intense labor, still 
they were kept by it in a generally rugged state, both of body and 
mind. They kept a good digestion, which is itself no small part of 
a character. The mothers spent their nervous impulse on their 
muscles, and had so much less need of keeping down the excess, or 


calming the unspent lightning, by doses of anodyne. In the play 
of the wheel they spent fibre too, within, and in the weaving, wove 
it close and firm. Be it true as it may, that the mothers of the 
homespun age had a severe limit on their culture and accomplish 
ments. Be it true that we demand a delicacy and elegance of man- 
ners impossible to them, under the rugged necessities they bore. 
Still there is, after all, something very respectable in good health, 
and a great many graces play in its look that we love to study, even 
if there be a little of "perdurable toughness" in their charms. How 
much is there, too, in the sublime motherhood of health! Hence 
come, not always, I know, but oftenest, the heroes and the great 
minds gifted with volume and power, and balanced for the manly 
Tirtues of truth, courage, persistency, and all sorts of victory. It 
was also a great point, in this homespun mode of life, that it imparted 
exactly what many speak of only with contempt, a closely girded 
habit of economy. Harnessed, all together, into the producing pro- 
cess, young and old, male and female, from the boy that rode the 
plough-horse to the grandmother, knitting under her spectacles, 
they had no conception of squandering lightly what they had all 
been at work, thread by thread, and grain by grain, to produce. 
They knew too exactly what everything cost, even small things, not 
to husband them carefully. Men of patrimony in the great world, 
therefore, noticing their small way in trade, or expenditure, are 
ready, as we often see, to charge them with meanness, simply be- 
cause they knew things only in a small way; or, what is not far 
different, because they were too simple and rustic, to have any con- 
ception of the big operations, by which other men are wont to 
get their money without earning it, and lavish the more freely because 
it was not earned. Still this knowing life only in the small, it 
will be found, is really anything but meanness. 

Probably enough the man who is heard threshing in his barn 
of a winter evening by the light of a lantern, (I knew such an 
example), will be seen driving his team next day, the coldest day of 
the year, through the deep snow to a distant wood lot, to draw 
a load for a present to his minister. So the housewife that higgles 
for a half hour with the merchant over some small trade, is yet one 
that will keep watch, not unlikely, when the school master, board- 
ing round the district, comes to some hard quarter, and commence 
asking him to dinner, then to tea, then to stay over night, and 
literally boarding him, till the hard quarter is passed. Who now, 
in the great world of money, will do, not to say the same, as much, 
proportionally as much, in any of the pure hospitalities of life? 

Besides, what sufficiently disproves any real meanness, it will 
be found that children brought up in this way to know things in the 
small, what they cost, and what is their value, have in just that 
fact one of the best securities of character and most certain elements 
of power and success in life; because they expect to get on by 
small advances followed up and saved by others, not by sudden leaps 
of fortune that despise the slow but surer methods of industry and 


merit When the hard, wiry-looking patriarch of homespun, for 
example, sets out for Hartford, or Bridgeport, to exchange the little 
surplus of his year's production, carrying his provision with him 
and the fodder of his team, and taking his boy along to show him 
the great world, you may laugh at the simplicity, or pity, if you 
will, the sordid look of the picture; but, five or ten years hence, this 
boy will like enough be found in College, digging out the cent's worth 
of his father's money in hard study; and some twenty years later 
he will be returning in his honors, as the celebrated Judge, or 
Governor, or Senator and public orator, from some one of the great 
States of the Kepublic, to bless the sight once more of that vener- 
ated pair who shaped his beginnings and planted the small seeds of 
his future success. Small seeds, you may have thought, of mean- 
ness; but now they have grown up and blossomed into a large 
minded life, a generous public devotion, and a free benevolence to 

And just here, I am persuaded, is the secret, in no small degree, 
of the very peculiar success that has distinguished the sons of 
Connecticut and, not least, those of Litchfield County, in their migra- 
tion to other States. It is because they have gone out in the wise 
economy of a simple, homespun training, expecting to get on in 
the world by merit and patience, and by a careful husbanding of 
small advances; secured in their virtue by just that which makes 
their perseverance successful. For the men who see the great in 
the small and go on to build the great by small increments, will 
commonly have an exact conscience too that beholds great princi- 
ples in small things, and so will form a character of integrity, before 
both God and man, as solid and massive as the outward successes 
they conquer 

I have wished, in particular, to bring out an impression of the 
unrecorded history of the times gone by. We must not think that 
the great men have made the history. Bather it is the history that 
has made the men. It is the homespun many, the simple Christian 
men and women of the century gone by, who bore their life struggle 
faithfully, in these valleys and among these hills, and who now 
are sleeping in the untitled graves of Christian worth and piety. 
These are they whom we are most especially to honor, and it is good 
for us all to see and know, in their example, how nobly fruitful and 
beneficent that virtue may be, which is too common to be distin- 
guished, and is thought of only as the worth of unhistoric men. 
Worth indeed it is, that worth which, being common, is the sub- 
structure and the prime condition of a happy, social state, and of 
all the honors that dignify its history: worth, not of men only, but 
quite as much of women; for you have seen, at every turn of my 
subject, how the age gone by receives a distinctive character from 
the queens of the distaff and the loom, and their princely mother- 
hood. Let no woman imagine that she is without consequence, or 
motive to excellence, because she is not conspicuous, Oh, it in 
the greatness of woman that she is so much like the great power*) 


of nature, back of the noise and clatter of the world's affairs, tem- 
pering all things with her benign influence only the more certainly 
because of her silence, greatest in her beneficence because most remote 
from ambition, most forgetful of herself and fame; a better nature 
in the world that only waits to bless it, and refuses to be known 
save in the successes of others, whom she makes conspicuous; satis- 
fied most, in the honors that come not to her, that "Her husband is 
known in the gates, when he sitteth among the elders of the land!". . . 
Men and women of Litchfield County, such has been the past; 
a good and honorable past! We give it over to you: the future 
is with you. It must, we know be different, and it will be what you 
make it. Be faithful to the sacred trust God is this day placing in 
your hands. One thing, at least, I hope ; that, in these illustrations 
I have made some just impression on you all of the dignity of work. 
How magnificent an honor it is, for the times gone by, that when 
«o many schemes are on foot, as now, to raise the weak; when the 
friends of the dejected classes of the world are proposing even to 
reorganize society itself for their benefit, trying to humanize punish- 
ments, to kindle hope in disability, and nurse depravity into a 
condition of comfort, (a distinction how magnificent!), that our 
fathers and mothers of the century passed had, in truth, no dejected 
classes, no disability, only here and there a drone of idleness, or a 
sporadic case of vice and poverty; excelling, in the picture of social 
comfort and well-being actually realized, the most romantic visions 
of our new seers. They want a reorganization of society! — some- 
thing better than the Christian gospel and the Christian family 
state! — some community in hollow-square, to protect them and coax 
them up into a life of respect, and help them to be men! No, they 
did not even so much as want the patronage of a bank of savings 
to encourage them and take the wardship of their cause. They 
knew how to make their money, and how to invest it, and take 
care of it, and make it productive; how to build, and plant, and 
make sterility fruitful, and conquer all the hard weather of life. 
Their producing process took everything at a disadvantage; for they 
had no capital, no machinery, no distribution of labor, nothing but 
wild forest and rock; but they had metal enough in their character 
to conquer their defects of outfit and advantage. They sucked honey 
out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock. Nay, they even seemed to 
want something a little harder than nature in her softer moods 
could yield them. Their ideal of a Goshen they sought out, not in 
the rich alluvion of some fertile Nile, but upon the crest of the 
world, somewhere between the second and third heaven where Provi- 
dence itself grows cold, and there, making warmth by their exercise 
and their prayers, they prepared a happier state of competence and 
wealth, than the Goshen of the sunny Nile ever saw. Your con- 
dition Avill hereafter be softened, and your comforts multiplied. Let 
your culture be as much advanced- But let no delicate spirit that 
despises work, grow up in your sons and daughters. Make these 
rocky bills smoothe their faces and smile under your industry. Let 


no absurd ambition tempt you to imitate the manners of the great 
world of fashion and rob you thus of the respect and dignity that 
pertain to manners properly your own. Maintain, above all, your 
religious exactness. Think what is true, and then respect your- 
selves in living exactly what you think. Fear God and keep His 
commandments, as your godly fathers and mothers did before you, 
and found, as we have seen, to be the beginning of wisdom. As 
their graves are with you, so be that faith in God, which ennobled 
their lives and glorified their death, an inheritance in you, and a 
legacy transmitted by you to your children. 



The liardy life of the Age of Homespun and the severe discipline 
of the Colonial Wars, prepared the people morally and physically 
for the severer test to come, in which the new nation "conceived in 
liberty"' vras to be horn. Out of that background of vigorous and 
earnest life came the great figures of the founders of o\ir nation and 
the sturdy army of citizen soldiers, who were to preserve and renew 
the fine tradition of their race. 

Let us picture our village at the close of the French War, with 
its streets still unkempt, its houses more widely scattered than now, 
its people vigorously engaged in the occupations of the pioneer 
farmer, and cherishing, no doubt, new hopes of peace and prosperity. 
Already the little town had taken its place in the life of the Colony 
as the County Seat of a new County. The first Court House and 
Jail were built, and Oliver Wolcott, then a young man in the middle 
thirties, had taken up his duties as High Sherilf and built his house 
on South Street. Elisha Sheldon- had come from Lyme, and after 
a service of seven years as Associate Judge of the Court of Com- 
mon Pleas for the county, had been elected to the Connecticut Legis- 
lature as a member of the Upper House. Jedediah Strong had 
graduated from Yale, and was shortly to begin his career, as '-petti- 
fogger and politician''. Bezaleel Beebe had returned, at the age of 
twenty-one, from four years' service in tlie Colonial wars, and set- 
tled on the Beebe homestead, north of Bantam Lake, with his young 
wife Elizabeth Marsh, the (hiugkter of Captain John Msirsli. Young 
. Judah Champion had begun ten years before, his energetic pastorate 
of the First Society of the Congregational Church, and the new 
Meeting House on the Oreen had just been finished. Into this atmos- 
phere of industry aiud peace came in 17(;5 tlie first rumble of the 
approaching storm. 

Between Great Britain and her colonies stretclied three thous- 
and miles of "unplumbed, salt, estranging sea". Between the minds 
of the British Government and of the settlers of the New World 
lay nnmeasured spaces of •'unplunibed, salt, estranging tlionglit". 
The Home Goverinnent Vv^as concerned chiefly with its own credit, 
with the low state of the exchequer after the recent A^'ars, and with 
dreams of empire. The Stamp Act seemed a simple solution of the 
first two questions, and a reasonable assistance in the third. The 
Colonies were prospering. They were protected by the Crown. 
Why sliould they not share the expenses of the Crown? The Colo- 


nies thought otherwise. They had borne their full share of the 
successive Colonial Wars and the burden had not been a light one, 
to men still engaged in the task of subduing the wilderness. But, 
aside from the hardship of the tax itself, they felt that it was potent 
with danger to the liberties so hardly acquired and cherished through 
the changing fortunes of Colonial history. These liberties they 
felt to be their rightful heritage as Englishmen. They would not 
relinquish them. Kilbourne tells us p. 82, of the instant indigna- 
tion aroused by the Stamp Act in this State and town. "The Legis- 
lature of Connecticut", he says, "protested against it, and finally 
agreed upon an address to parliament, which was sent to the colo- 
nial agent in London, with instructions 'firmly to insist on the 
exclusive right of the colonies to tax themselves'. The^ people 
everywhere were excited and the measure was freely discussed 
and boldly denounced at the corners of the streets, in popular 
assemblies, and in town meetings. The more resolute and reckless 
of the populace formed themselves into secret organizations called 
'The Sons of Liberty', with the design of preventing the use of the 
stamjied paper by a summary j^rocess if necessary. In this town 
there was probably no difl'erence of opinion on the main question at 
issue. On matters of minor importance the people did not always 
agree. The Connecticut Conrant of February 10th, 1766, contains 
a communication dated at Litchfield on the 1st of February of that 
year, Avhich is as follows: 

'At the desire of several of the Towns of this County, by their Agents 
chosen and sent here for that Purpose, a Meeting was called of the Free- 
born Sons of Liberty, to meet at the Court-House in this Town ; and being 
assembled to the Number of about forty or fifty Persons — proceeded upon 
the Business for which they met. And notwithstanding the great Opposi- 
tion they met with, from Colonel E r M h and one S n 

S e, (whereby the Meeting was much hindered,) yet they came to the 

Choice of five Gentlemen, who were to act as Agents, and are to join the 
Gentlemen from the other Towns in the County, who are to meet here, 
at a general County Meeting, to be held on the second Tuesday of February, 
1766, at ten o'clock in the forenoon ; when it is expected they will come to 
such Resolves as thej' shall think most Conducive to prevent the Thing we 
fear from ever taking Place among us. The Meeting would have been 
conducted with the utmost good Agreement and Dispatch, had it not been 
for the Gentlemen mentioned above, who employed all their Power to 
render it abortive, not only by consuming the Time in long and needless 

Speeches, (wherein Mr. M h especially discovered to all present, an 

inexhaustible Fund of Knowledge, by several new-coined Words, unknown 
in the EngHsh Language before,) but they also opposed by their Votes 
almost every Motion that was made to forward it.' " 

Although the difference of opinion here recorded was probably, 
over minor matters, — very possibly a question of policy rather than 
principle, — it was undoubtedly a fore-runner of those more serious 
differences which were to continue thoughout the war, with all the 
intensity and bitterness consequent to civil strife. '"There were . . . 
in this town", says Kilbourne, p. 114, "as elsewhere throughout the 


land — honorable, influential and conscientious men— who, while 
they openly disapproved of many acts of the parliament were yet 
warmly attached to the royal cause. They looked upon revolution 
as not only treason to their sovereign, but predestined to be ruinous 
to all who might engage in it; and they chose to suffer what they 
regarded as only temporary evils, rather than rush into the vortex 
of war for redress". Among these people the Episcopalians wex'e 
peculiarly bound by every tie of affection and necessity to the mother 
country. Litchfield was still a "missionary station". The Eector 
of St. Michael's received a portion of his salary directly from the 
''Venerable Society in England for Propagating the Gospel in For- 
eign Parts". For the members of the Church of England, "inde- 
pendence not only involved a political separation from Great Britain, 
but a severance of an ecclesiastical bond of union which they had 
long regarded as indispensable to their prosperity if not to their 
very existence as a church". (Kilbourne, p. 115). Many of them 
therefore were opposed to the Kevolution and feeling ran high. 
The incident of the stoning of St. Michael's by revolutionary troops 
is described elsewhere. In the bitter alchemy of war the elements 
of national character were to be divided and fused anew. No 
tie could escape the fire. "Friends, neighbors, and even households 
became divided and estranged". (Kilbourne, p. 116). 

In 176G, however, only the most far-seeing could have dreamed 
of revolution. Only three years before, Benjamin Franklin, in a 
pamphlet on the wisdom of retaining Canada rather then Guada- 
loupe as a prize of war, had assured the people of Great Britain 
that the colonies would never "unite against their own nation . . . 
which 'tis well known tliey ail love much more than they love one 
another". (Eve of the Eevolution. Becker, p. 5). In the Con- 
necticut Courant of February 24th, 1766, appears the record of that 
Litchfield County Meeting heralded in the issue of the 10th. "In 
their declaration", says Kilbourne, p. 83, "the purest sentiments of 
patriotism and loyalty, are blended with a love of good order and a 
regard for the supremacy of the law, Avhicli are remarkable for those 
times. The people of Litchfield were no friends of mob-laAV, even 
when mobs were fashionable elsewhere. Separation from the 

mother-country, was a subject which had not then been breathed 
audibly, even if it had been thought of by the most zealous patriot". 
The "declarations" are given in full by Kilbourne, pp. 83-86. They 
begin with the folloAving preamble, in which it is interesting to 
note that the people rest their case upon their heritage as English- 
men, "the unalterable basis of the British Constitution", in which 
they had so just a pride. Preamble: 

"At a Meeting of the Inhabitants of almost all the Towns in Litch-; 
field County, convened by their Agents in Litchfield on the second Tuesday 
in February 1766, for the Purpose of giving the clearest Manifestation of 
their fixed and most ardent Desire to preserve, as far as in tliem lies, those 
inherent Rights and Privileges which essentially belong to them as a Free 
People, and which are founded upon the unalterable Basis of the British 


Constitution, and have been confirmed by the most solemn Sanctions — and 
of their readiness to promote (according to their Ability) the public Peace 
and Happiness, which have been greatly disturbed by the most alarming 
Infringements upon their Rights the following Sentiments were unanimously 
agreed in". 

The declaration here continues through seven articles to 
emphasize the unconstitutionality of the Stamp Act, and while 
expressing most faithful allegiance to the Crown, declares (Article 
II) : 

"That thej^ conceive to keep up in their brightest View the first Prin- 
ciples and Origins of the English Government and strictly to adhere to the 
primary Institutions of it, is the only sure Way to preserve the same, and 
consequently the Prerogative of the Crown, and the Civil Liberties of the 
Subject, inviolate". 

They add also (Article VI) : 

"That God made Mankind free, (as being essential to their Happiness) 
and as, by His Blessing the Advantages of English Liberty have been handed 
down to them from their most virtuous and loyal Ancestors, so they will 
endeavor, by all reasonable Ways and Means within their Power, uprightly 
to preserve and faithfully to transmit the same to their Posterity". 

From this premise thej^ continue to Article IX: 

"That if any Stamped Papers shall be imported into any Part of this 
Colony (which they most cordially wish might never be,) they hope the 
speediest public Notice thereof may be given, that the same may be pre- 
served UNTOUCHED for His Majesty". 

They further warn the authorities that if anyone has repre- 
sented the people of the Colony as acquiescing in the Act in ques- 
tion, such representation h^s been made either through extreme 
ignorance or deliberate malice. The strength and gravity of pur- 
pose of the best spirit of the time is manifest in this document, 
together with a moderation and sobriety, which as Kilbourne has 
noted, is truly remarkable. Thus in Article XI, we find: 

"That they will never suffer any Jealousies to arise in their Minds, that 
any Person in this Colony is unfriendly to its Civil Liberties, except upon 
the fullest, clearest, and most undeniable Evidence". 

and in Article XIII: 

"That whereas some very ignorant or dissolute Persons may, in this 
time of Perplexity, be disposed to commit Outrages against the Persons or 
Property of others, or to treat with Disrespect and Insult the civil Authority 
of this Colony; They do therefore, hereby solemnly declare, that Nothing 
(except a Privation of their Liberties,) could or ought to fill their Minds 
with a deeper and more fixed Resentment than such Conduct — and that they 
will ahvays be ready and willing to assist and support, to the utmost of 
their AbiHty, the public Magistrates, in preserving, in the greatest Purity, 
the Peace and good Order of the Public". 


Governor Oliver Wolcott 

V'Sht'^'f^'-n- /&^<^ 


a^ f''V^?sfe««Jo 


The Stamp Act was repealed in this year, but matters were in 
no wise mended. Continued imposts were made on articles imported 
from England; indignation in the Colonies increased; and finally a 
merchant's agreement was made, known as "the non-importation 
agreement". This, however, proved to be something of a boomerang, 
and Avas "shamefully violated", says Kilbourne, p, 86, by the mer- 
chants of New York. Thereupon Connecticut summoned a "General 
Convention of Delegates from all the towns in the Colony", to be held 
in New Haven on September IStli, 1770, "to take into consideration 
the perilous condition of the country, to provide for the growth 
and spread of home manufactures, and to devise more thorough 
means of carrying out the nonimportation agreement". To this 
Convention Captain John Osborn and Jedediah Strong were sent 
as Delegates from Litchfield by vote of a town meeting. 

About this time also, the Connecticut Legislature took steps to 
improve the condition of the militia of the Colony; "why", says Kil- 
bourne, p. 87, "they were scarcely themselves aware". Officers who 
had served with ability in the French War, now received advance 
commissions. Among these were Oliver Wolcott of Litchfield, "who 
had commanded a company in the north in 1748, and was now com- 
missioned as Colonel; and Ebenezer Cay, a resident of Sharon but 
a native of this town, who was raised to the rank of Lieutenant 
Colonel". (Kilbourne, p. 87.) Kilbourne further remarks in this 
connection: "These officers, by long service Avith the commanders in 
the Standing Army of England, had learned whatever was worth 
knowing in their system of military tactics, while they had failed to 
learn their inefficiency, i:)rocrastination, and punctilious regard for 
etiquette". How just an estimate this is of the British officer of 
the period, it is difficult to judge. There is no doubt that during 
the French Wars the troops frequently suffered from the stupidity 
of their officers; while Lord Howe and others in the Eevolution 
often failed to follow up their successes. The pernicious practice 
of selling commissions must have worked havoc in any army. 
Nevertheless, some able men were undoubtedly attracted to military 
life, and it is no derogation of our own army to assume that the 
forces to which it was opposed for seven years, were in many cases 
officered by men of intelligence, energy and devotion. 

Stupidity in high places, however, Avas to work its inevitable 
mischief in British- American relations. All the indignation of 
the Colonists, all reasonable remonstrance of the wiser heads on 
both sides of the Atlantic, failed to break doAvn the stubborn com- 
placency of the King and his ill-chosen advisors. Oppressive 
measures continued. Eesistance increased in proportion. Shortly 
after the "Boston Tea Party", and the subsequent blockade of Boston 
Harbor, we find the inhabitants of Litchfield issuing the following 
document, which Woodruff, p. 32, credits to OliA'^er Wolcott. 

"The Inhabitants of . Litchfield, in legal Town Meeting assembled, on 
the 17th day of August, A. D. 1774, taking into consideration the Distress to 


which the Poor of the Town of Boston may likely be reduced by the opera- 
tion of an Act of the British Parliament for Blocking up their Port, and 
deeply commiserating the unhappiness of a brave and loyal People, who are 
thus eminently suffering in a General Cause, for Vindicating what every 
sensible virtuous American considers an essential Right of this Country, 
think it is their indispensable Duty to afford their unhappy distressed 
brethren of said Town of Boston, all reasonable Aid and Support. And 
this they are the more readily induced to, not only as the Inhabitants of 
said Town are thus severely condemned for their reluctance to submit to an 
arbitrary, an unconsented to, and consequently unconstitutional Taxation, 
but the whole of the great and loyal Province of the Massachusetts Bay 
have been condemned unheard, in the loss of their Charter Privileges, by 
the heretofore unknown and unheard of Exertions of Parliamentary Power, 
which they conceive is a Power claimed and exercised in such a manner as 
cannot fail of striking every unprejudiced mind with Horror and Amaze- 
ment, as being subversive of all those inherent, essential and constitutional 
Rights, Liberties and Privileges which the good people of this Colony have 
ever held sacred, and even dearer than Life itself, nor ever can wish to 
survive ; not only every idea of Property, but every Emolument of civil Life, 
being thereby rendered precarious and uncertain. 

"In full confidence, therefore, that no Degree of Evil thus inflicted on 
said Town and Province, will ever induce them to give up, or betray their 
own and the American Constitutional Rights and Privileges, especially as 
they cannot but entertain the most pleasing Expectations that the Commit- 
tees of the several North American Provinces, who are soon to meet at 
Philadelphia, will in their wisdom be able to point out a Method of Conduct 
effectual for obtaining Redress of those grievances — a Method to which 
(when once agreed upon by said Committee) this Town will look upon 
it their duty strictly to attend. And in the Mean Time, earnestly recommend 
that Subscriptions be forthwith opened in this Town, under the care of 
Reuben Smith, Esq. Capt. Lynde Lord, and Mr. William Stanton, who are 
hereby appointed a Committee to receive and forward to the Selectmen 
of Boston, for the use of the Poor in that Place, all such Donations as 
shall be thereupon made for that Purpose ; as also to correspond with the 
Committee of Correspondence there or elsewhere, as there may be Occa- 

"We also take this Opportunity publicly to return our Thanks to the 
members of the Honorable House of Representatives of this Colony, for 
their patriotic and loyal Resolutions, passed and published in the last 
Assembly on the Occasion, and order them to be entered at large on the 
public Records of this Town, that succeeding Ages may be faithfully furnished 
with authentic Credentials of our inflexible attachment to those inestimable 
Privileges which We and every honest American glory in esteeming our 
unalienable Birthright and Inheritance". 

Four montlis later, we find tlie Town appointing a Committee 
"for tlie Purposes mentioned in the Eleventh Article of the Associa- 
tion Agreement of the Grand Continental Congress in Philadelphia, 
5th of September last, and Approved, Adopted, and Eecommended 
by the General Assembly of this Colony at their session in October 

Kilbourne explains, p. 91, that the "Article" herein referred 
to, provides for "Committees of Inspection" in each city and town, 


"whose business it shall be attentively to observe the conduct of 
all persons touching this Association; and when it shall be made to 
appear that any person has violated its articles, they are to cause 
their names to be published in the Gazette, to the end that all such 
foes to the rights of British America may be publicly known and 
universally contemned as the enemies of American Liberty, and 
thenceforth we break off all dealings with him or her". Committees 
of Insjjection were also appointed at the Town Meetings in 1775 and 

In 1775 the storm broke. Early in this year, David Welch, 
whose house still stands near Milton on the Litchfield road, was in 
command of a company called into active service. In April he 
was commissioned as Major in Colonel Hinman's regiment. In this 
same month a lieutenant's commission was given to Bezaleel Beebe, 
whose four years service in the French War and rank of Ensign 
under Archibald McNeile, entitled him to consideration as a soldier 
of some experience. Fisher Gay of Farmington, a native of Litch- 
field, was among those commissioned in March by special session 
of the Legislature, receiving the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel. In 
May the country was stirred by the capture of Ticonderoga by Ethan 
Allen and his "Green Mountain Boys", that hardy band of pioneer 
adventurers, trained in the rough school of border warfare, in the 
boundary disputes of New York and New Hampshire. Allen 
was born in Litchfield, and this, Litchfield was now glad to remember, 
though his family had taken him at the age of two to the neighboring 
town of Cornwall, and there and in Sharon he passed his boyhood. 
Lieutenant Crampton who was with him at Ticonderoga and entered 
the fort at his side, was also a native of Litchfield, and lived here, 
Kilbourne tells us, p. 93, for a large part of his life. Ticonderoga, 
because of its position as a key to the northern waterways, was a 
place of considerable strategic importance and its capture was a 
triumph for the American arms. On the day following, the gar- 
rison at Crown Point, with all its military stores, was also sur- 
rendered to the Americans under Colonel Warner, a native of Kox- 
bury in this county. In June came the news of Bunker Hill. At 
this time young Aaron Burr had been living in Litchfield for more 
than a year, at the house of his brother-in-law Tapping Keeve, read- 
ing history and absorbing all the passionate thought and feeling 
of the time. He now determined to enlist, and September found 
him serving as a private soldier in Arnold's remarkable expedition 
through the wilderness to Quebec. After enduring unimagined 
hardships of cold, privation and illness, and overcoming almost 
insurmountable obstacles in the unfriendly forests of the north, the 
expedition arrived near Quebec, diminished in numbers, depleted 
in strength, and bitterly in need of reinforcement. General Mont- 
gomery was at that time at a post beyond the British lines, waiting 
for the arrival of Arnold and his men. It was necessary to inform 
him of their dangerous situation. To do this a messenger must go 
through the enemy lines. Burr volunteered for this service, and 


disguised as a priest, succeeded iu fulfilling his mission, undetected. 
We hear of liim later tlirougli a letter of Judge Keeve's, (quoted by 
Kilbourne, p. 93) as an aide to General Montgomery in the unfortu- 
nate attack on the city. "During this year also", says Kilbourne, 
rather quaintly, (the capitalization is his) "Jedediah Strong was 
appointed a Commissary to purchase Horses for the Army; and 
Oliver Wolcott was chosen a member of the continental congress". 

While Litchfield men were serving abroad, the people at home 
were not idle. In his sermon on Judah Champion, the Eeverend 
Frank J. Goodwin quotes an anecdote characteristic of the spirit 
of the time, and of that ardent patriot and preacher: 

••Oiio pleasant Sabbath morning, the congregation had gathered 
together and had just commenced the morning hymn, when through 
the still streets, there came the sharp clatter of horses hoofs — 
always so ominous at that time, of tidings from the army. As usual 
when the courier arrived in any town on the Sabbath he made 
straight for the 'meeting house'. Reaching the door, he dismounted, 
and flinging the bridle over the horse's neck, entered the building. 
The singing ceased, and every eye was turned on the stranger as 
he walked up the broad aisle and ascended the pulpit stairs. He 
handed Mr. Champion a paper, who, with a smile of triumi3h on his 
face, arose and read 'St. Johns is taken'. It must be remembered 
that this place (which was the key of Canada) had been besieged 
six weeks, till people began almost to despair of its ever being taken. 
The noble pastor, the moment he had finished the sentence, lifted 
his eyes to heaven and exclaimed: 'Thank God for victory'. The 
chorister, sitting opposite the pulpit in the gallery, clapped his 
hands and shouted: 'Amen and Amen!' For awhile the joy was 
unrestrained, but the pastor soon checked it by saying: 'There is 
something more to be heard.' He then read a lengthy conmiunica- 
tion, stating that the army was in a suilering condition. It was 
now the latter part of November, and there, on the borders of 
Canada, the winter Avas already setting in, and yet the troops were 
about to march for Quebec to undergo the rigors of a winter cam- 
paign. It described in vivid language their suffei'ing condition. 
They Avere destitute of clothing, without shoes or stockings, and 
yet Avere ordered to traverse the frozen fields of the north. 

''The touching description lost none of its pathos as read by 
the pastor and commented on by him at its close. When he had 
finished there Avas hardly a dry eye in the house. Especially the 
Avomen were overcome with emotion. As soon as the congregation 
Avas dismissed, a few prominent ladies Avere seen to gather round 
the young pastor Avith eager countenances. They Avere evidently 
asking him some questions, and it Avas equally evident, from his 
beneA'olent smile and nodding head, that he Avas answering them 
satisfactorily. Soon they began to move rapidly among the other 
Avomen that, in turn, gathered into groups in earnest conversation. 
After a little while they all dispersed to their homes. When the 
congregation assembled for afternoon service not a Avoman Avas in 


the Church. The wives, mothers and maidens had laid aside their 
Sabbath apparel and drawn forth their spinning wheels, set in 
motion their looms, and brought out their knitting needles and 
hand cards, and the village suddenly became a hive of industry. 
On that usually still Puritan Sabbath afternoon there now rung 
out on every side the hum of the wheel and the click of the shuttle- 
sounds never before heard in Litchfield on the Sabbath day, and 
which contrasted strangely with those of prayer and praise in the 
adjoining sanctuary. Yet both believed that they were serving 
God, The women were working for those brave patriots who 
were about to march, destitute and barefoot, over the frozen ground 
to strike for freedom. Many years after, when a venerable old 
man, Mr. Champion was asked by his grand-daughter how he could 
approve such a desecration of the Sabbath. He turned on her a 
solemn look and replied simply: 'Mercy before sacrifice!'" 

It is typical of the tragic embitterment of war as well as the 
sternness of the Puritan faith, that we are later to find this generous 
spirit engaged with all the ardor and eloquence of his nature in 
the famous imprecatory prayer against the enemy. It is, however, 
comforting to remember that, while theoretically the enemy was 
accursed and a just object of hate, in actual practice the fiery little 
pastor found him simply a man and a brother; and while he was 
with the army in the north, he cared as faithfully for the sick and 
wounded of the British Army as for our own. "Such was his zeal 
and self-sacrifice". Dr. Goodwin tells us, "that the British officers, 
as well as our own, returned him their warmest thanks". 

The year of 1776, which was to be such an eventful one for the 
Colonies, began in Litchfield with the enlistment by Bezaleel Beebe, 
now a captain, of a company, under orders for the defense of New 
York. The news was received with great enthusiasm. Kilbourne 
tells us, p. 94, that one man when he heard it "started on a run for 
the Captain's headquarters, fearing the roll Avould be full before he 
could reach there", and that "Captain's Beebe's orders reached him 
on a Sunday, and the following Saturday, the company had been 
raised, armed and equipped, and were on their march toward Fair- 
field". We quote here the enlistment agreement given by Kil- 
bourne, p. 94. 

"We the Subscribers, being convinced of the Necessity of a bodj' of 
Forces to defeat certain Wicked Purposes formed by the instruments of 
Ministerial Tyranny, do solemnly engage ourselves and enlist as Private 
Soldiers, in a Regiment to be Commanded by Colonel Andrew Ward, Jr., 
under the command of Major General Lee, for the Term of Eight Weeks 
at the utmost from the Day we March from Fairfield, which is the place 
of Rendezvous; the Honorable Major General Lee having given his Word 
and Honor that we shall not be Detained a single Daj' after said Term. 
Dated at Litchfield, 2ist day of January, 1776". 


The following list for appraisal, is also interesting as an 
example of the simplicity of military organization at that time. 

Litchfield, 26tli January, 1776 

"We, being requested to apprise the Arms belonging to Capt. Bezaleel 
Beebe's Company, in Col. Andrew Ward's Regiment, going on an expedition 
to New York under the command of General Charles Lee — we accordingly 
apprized the same, being first duly sworn, viz., 

Elihu Harrison's Gun, Bayonet and Cartridge Box. in his own hands. 
(Figures omitted), 

Roger N. Whittlesey's Gun in the hands of Briant Stoddard. 

Joseph San ford's Gun, Bayonet and Belt in his own hands. 

Nathaniel Allen's Gun, Bayonet and Belt in his own hands. 

Obed Stoddard's Gun, bayonet. Cartridge box and belt. 

Joshua Smith's Gun in his own hands. 

Zebulon Bissell's Gun in his own hands. 

James Woodruff's Gun carried by Stephen Brown. 

Phineas Goodwin's Gun, bayonet and belt. 

Whiting Stanley's Gun carried by James Crampton. 

Oliver Woodruff's Gun carried by himself. 

Hezekiah Agard's Gun carried by John Lyman. 

Jedediah Strong's Gun, bayonet and belt carried by Wm. Patterson. 

Lieut. Jonathan Mason's Cartridge box. 

Samuel Canfield's Gun carried by himself. 

Noah Garnsey's Gun carried by T. Weed. 

Sergt. Benjamin Bissell's Gun and Bayonet carried by himself. 

Asa Osborn's Gun and Cartridge box carried by himself. 

Jedediah Strong's Gun carried by Benjamin Taylor. 

Jedediah Strong's Gun carried by Frederick Stanley. 

Reuben Smith, Esq's Gun, Bayonet, Case and Belt, carried by Capt. 

Capt. John Osborn's Gun carried by Moses Taylor. 
OBED STODDER, Appraisers on Oath. 

Stodder is probably a misprint or variant for Stoddard, as Obed 
Stoddard is one of the signers of the enlistment agreement. 

The short term of enlistment was characteristic of the period, 
and made the conduct of the war immeasurably more difficult. In 
an address before the Litchfield Historical Society, on the occasion 
of its semi-centennial, William Webster Ellsworth quotes in this 
connection, General Washington's remarks at the time of the siege of 
Boston: "It is not in the page of history, to furnish a case like 
ours; to maintain a post within musket shot of the enemy without 
powder, and at the same time to disband an army and recruit another 
within that distance of twenty odd British regiments". These 


short enlistments were probably due, in part, to the hope, so gener- 
ally held in the first stages of any war, that "it can't last long". 
Moreover, in a country chiefly agricultural and self-dependent, the 
able-bodied men were needed at home to produce the necessities of 
life; and the young farmers, habituated to thinking first of the 
needs of their farms, and unused to the discipline of organized war- 
fare, probably could not conceive the necessities of the occasion. 
"The French and Indian Wars", Mr. Ellsworth tells us, "had been 
conducted with Arcadian simplicity, and it had been the custom to 
cease fighting in the winter and go home to feed the stock". Never- 
tlieless, as the war continues, we find the same men enlisting again 
and again for active service. 

In May of this year, Kilbourne tells us, p. 96, "a regiment was 
ordered to be raised for the defense of the State, *to be subject to 
join the continental army, if so ordered by the Governor'. Captain 
Beebe was appointed to the command of one of the companies of 
this regiment, with Jesse Cook for 1st lieutenant and James Watson 
for 2d lieutenant. Lieut. Watson was soon transferred to another 
corps and John Smith of Litchfield was commissioned in his place". 
Some information concerning the members of this company is given 
in sundry accounts and memoranda among the papers of Captain 
Beebe; quoted by Kilbourne, p. 97. "August 9, To cash paid for 
CO fin for Ira Stone; 'Lieut, John Smith was discharged from the 
army in Xew York'; 'John German was dismissed from my com- 
pany by order of a General Court Martial, July 9, 1776'; ' Aug. 9,^ 
James Beach died about 8 o'clock in the morning'; 'Sept. the 5th, 
10 o'clock at night, Samuel Gleason died'; in the account with Joel 
Taylor — 'Paid one dollar to Zebulon Taylor to deliver to the mother 
of the above Joel Taylor, deceased, it being cash that was with him 
when he died'; 'Sept. 27, 1777, Received of Capt. Beebe 22 shillings 
for mileage from Philadelphia to Litchfield. (Signed,) Abraham 
Haskins'. From the account of Gershom Gibbs— 'Received of Capt. 
Beebe three dollars that belonged to my husband and son which 
was part of the money sent to them whilst prisoners in New York, 
(Signed,) Tabitha Gibbs'. From the account with Nathaniel Allen 
—'Sept. 27, 1777, To cash left with Joseph Agaid to be paid to Mrs. 
Allen that was left with me when Mr. Allen died'. From the 
account with Phineas Goodwin — 'To back rations 16 days at Fort 
Washington, '&c., 

Kilbourne gives us, pp. 98-101, a more complete account of the 
fortunes of some of these men, and others who enlisted from Litch- 
field. We quote it with some few abridgements. 

"About the 1st of November, 1776, thirty-six picked men, were 
placed under the command of Capt. Beebe and set to Fort Wash- 
ington to aid in its defense. This post, together with Fort Lee on 
the Jersey shore, commanded the mouth of the Hudson, and was 
hence regarded by the enemy as a tempting prize. In anticipation 
of an attack, the works had been strengthened and reinforced. At 
the critical time, the Fort and Harlem Heights were manned bv 


two Pennsylvania Regiments commanded by Colonels Magraw and 
Shea, Eawlin's Eiflemen from Maryland, some of the militia of the 
flying camp, and a few companies detailed from the Connecticut Regi- 
ments. On the 15tli of November, Sir William Howe summoned 
Colonel Magraw, (who had the chief command of the garrison), 
to surrender. That brave oificer — acting under the immediate 
advice of Generals Putnam and Greene, responded, that he would 
defend himself to the last extremity. On the morning of the 16th 
the attack was commenced at four different points nearly at the same 
moment. . . . The assailants were provided with excellent trains of 
artillery, which were brought to bear with effect. The attack was 
prosecuted with extraordinary energy and spirit, and the Americans 
continued to defend themselves until resistance became fruitless. 
During a recess in the fight, the garrison was again summoned to 
surrender; and after a brief consultation with the officers, Magraw 
capitulated. The entire American force, amounting to two thousand 
six hundred men, surrendered as prisoners of war. During the siege, 
the enemy lost about twelve hundred, and the Americans about four 
hundred. . . . 

"The terms of the capitulation were regarded as liberal and 
honorable on the part of the victors, and highly favorable to the 
vanquished. The manner in which those terms were violated, and 
set at naught, by the miscreants into whose hands the unfortunate 
prisoners were placed, is without parallel in the history of the revo- 
lutionary struggle. Crowded, with hundreds of others, into the 
Sugar-House and on board the Prison-Ships, without air or water 
and for the first two days without food, contagion and death were 
the natural consequences. The dysentery, small-pox, and other 
terrible diseases, broke out among them, and very few of the whole 
number survived the terrible ordeal- On the 27th of December, 
1776, an exchange of prisoners took place. Only eleven of Captain 
Beebe's Company were able to sail for Connecticut. Six of these 
died on the way home. The remainder of those who were living 
at that date, being too ill to be removed, were left behind — where all 
(except Sergeant Mather), died within a few days, most of them 
with the small-pox. Here follow the names of these "picked men". 
The notes appear to have been added by Captain Beebe at the differ- 
ent periods corresponding with the dates": 

"An Account of the Prisoners' Names mid Places of Confinement". 

Sergt. Cotton Mather — returned home. 

Sergt. David Hall — died of the small-pox on board the Grosvenor, Dec. 

II, 1776. 
Elijah Loomis — died. 

Gershom Gibbs — died on board the ship, Dec. 29, 1776. 
Timothy Stanley — died on board the ship, Dec. 29, 1776. 
Amos Johnson — died Dec. 26, 1776. 
Timothy Marsh — died on his way home. 


Barnias Beach — died on his way home. 

Samuel Vaill — died on board the Grosvenor, Dec. 27, 1776. 

Nathaniel Allen — died of small-pox, Jan. i, 1777. 

Enos Austin — died of the small-po?^, Dec. 4, 1776, in the evening. 

Gideon Wilcoxson — died. 

Thomas Mason — reached home, 

Alexander McNeil — died. 

Daniel Smith — died in New York, of small-pox, Jan. i, 1777. 

Noah Beach — reached home. 

Daniel Benedict — reached home. 

Isaac Gibbs — died Jan. 15, 1777. 

Oliver Marshall — died on his way home. 

Solomon Parmely — went on board the ship, and I fear he is drowned 

as I cannot find him. 
David Olmsted — died Jan. 4, 1777. 
Jared Stuart — died Jan. 26, 1777, in the morning. 
John Lyman — died Jan. 26, 1777. 
EHsha Brownson — died on his way home. 

The above Prisoners are at Livingston's Sugar House. 

Zebulon Bissell — died in Woodbury, on his way home. 
Aaron Stoddard — died Jan. 12, 1777. 
John Parmely — died Jan. 15, 1777. 
Joel Taylor — died Jan. 9, 1777. 
^james Little — reached home. 

Phineas Goodwin — died Jan. 5, 1777. 

The above at the Church called the North Church. 

Oliver WoodruflF — reached home. 
Remembrance Loomis — died on his way home. 
The above at Bridewell. 

Corporal Samuel Cole, 
Teremiah Weed, 
Joseph Spencer, 
John Whiting, 

Were either killed or made their escape from Fort Washington, on the' 
1 6th of November, 1776. 

"Probably no similar instance of mortality", says Kilbourne, 
"occurred during tlie entire war. Only sios survivors out of a com- 
pany of thirty six hale and hearty young men, is a percentage rarely 
reached, even in the most fatal engagements". 

"Captain Beebe", he adds, "was allowed the limits of the city 
on his parol of honor", and "was accustomed to visit his men daily, 
so long as any remained, and did whatever he was allowed to do, 
to alleviate their wretched condition". 


The ill-treatment of prisoners was one of the saddest aspects 
of the war, and one calculated to arouse the most bitterness. 
Another Litchfield company had been raised in June 1776, part of 
six battalions ordered from Connecticut by the General Assembly, 
to reinforce the army in New York. Of this company Abraham 
Bradley was Captain, Tillej^ Blakesley, 1st Lieutenant, Thomas Cat- 
lin, 2d Lieutenant, and James Morris Jr., Ensign. "Among the 
'Wolcott Papers','' Kilbourne tells us, p. 102, "is preserved the fol- 
lowing Deposition made on the 3d of May, 1777, before Andrew 
Adams, Esq. J. P., by Lieutenant Thomas Catlin: 

" 'That he Avas taken Prisoner by the British Troops on New 
York Island, September 15, 1776, and confined with a great number 
in close Gaol, eleven days; that he had no sustenance for forty-eight 
hours after he was taken ; that for eleven whole days they had only 
about two days' allowance, and their pork was offensive to the smell. 
That forty-two were confined in one house, till Fort Washington 
was taken, when the house was crowded with other Prisoners ; after 
which they were informed they should have two-thirds allowance— 
which consisted of very poor Irish Pork, Bread hard, mouldy and 
wormy, made of canail and dregs of flax-seed. The British Troops 
had good bread. Brackish water was given to the Prisoners, and 
he had seen $1.50 given for a common pail of water. Only between 
three and four pounds of Pork was given three men for three days. 
That for near three months, the priA'^ate soldiers were confined in 
the Churches, and in one were eight hundred and fifty; that about 
the 25th of December, 1776, he and about tAvo hundred and tAventy 
five others Avere put on board the Glasgow at New York to be 
carriod to Coiinecticut for exchange. They Avere on board eleven 
days, and kept on black, coarse broken bread, and less pork than 
before. TAventy eight died during these eleven days! They were 
treated Avith great cruelty, and had no fire for sick or Avell. They 
were crowded betAveen decks, and many died through hardship, ill 
usage, hunger and cold'." 

Even alloAving for the fact that the standards of the day were 
rougher than our oAvn, that sanitary measures Avere little under- 
stood, and that the British Avere under the disadvantage of conduct- 
ing operations on foreign soil, we cannot exonerate from the charge 
of deliberate cruelty, the officers in charge of the rcA^olutionary 
prisons. No part of the story of our revolution, hoAvever, can be 
Justly told, that represents the enemy as inherently base, or the 
characters of the Avarring peoples as essentially antagonistic. They 
were bred to the same tradition, inheritors of centuries of common 
life. It is*interesting to remember that in the year in Avhich the 
American Colonies declared themselves a Free Nation, the City of 
London raised a A^oice of protest against the prosecution of the war. 

The war, hoAvever, continued ; and Litchfield's part in it became 
increasingly important. In July 1776, Oliver Wolcott had signed 
the Declaration of Independence. Shortly after this, when the 
British captured New York and all communications between New 

Major Moses Seymour 





England and Pennsylvania were forced onto a northerly route to 
the Hudson and so down beyond the western highlands, Litchfield, 
Ij'ing on the most direct route to the American posts on the river, 
became an important military depot, which it remained until 1780. 
"The depot for provisions'', says Kilbourne, p. 117, "stood on the 
premises now occupied by Dr. Buel's sanitarium, in North Street, 
where a building was erected for that purpose sixty feet long and 
two stories high. On the site of the present Court House, was 
erected a building of similar dimensions as a depot for other mili- 
tary stores. A workshop for the army (which was also sixty feet 
in length and two stories high), stood on the north side of East 
Street, just west of the Burying Ground. At each of the places 
here designated, a military guard was stationed night and day — the 
roll being called — the soldiers drilled, and the guard set, at stated 
intervals, with as much precision as would have been observed by 
an army encamped in the vicinity of the enemy. The stores and 
provisions deposited here, were for much of the time under the gen- 
eral superintendence of Commissary William Eichards of Elizabeth- 
town, X. J. Ashbel Baldwin, a native of this town, graduated at 
Yale College in 1776, and soon received the appointment of Quarter- 
master and Avas stationed liere. He remained at his post between 
two and three years, when he received an honorable discharge, and 
was succeeded in office by Oliver Wolcott Jr., wlio graduated in 

Prisoners of war were also often sent to Litchfield and were 
kept in the Jail on East Street. "The location being so far inland, 
and so distant from any navigable stream", says Kilbourne, p. 112, 
^'it was thought they would be less liable to be discovered and res- 
cued here, than at Hartford, New Haven or Boston". Among the 
prisoners detained here at various times were the Hon. William 
Franklin, royal Governor of New Jersey, loyalist son of Benjamin 
Franklin ; and Mr. Matthews, the English Mayor of New York. The 
latter was in the custody of Captain Moses Seymour, in which he 
thought himself happy; and whose courtesies he requited by the 
gift of the "pleasure-carriage" elsewhere referred to. The unfortu- 
nate Mayor, however, was not destined to a quiet captivity. He 
was the storm-centre of many rumors, and was at one time removed 
from Litchfield for fear of his life. Later he was returned and 
subsequently made his escape. George C. Woodrufl' in his Centen- 
nial Address, delivered in 1876, states that tradition had it, "that 
the public authorities did not well know how to deal with his case, 
and that one day when he 'walked abroad for the benefit of the 
ail*', (as he was iiermitted to do), he neglected to return; very much 
to the satisfaction of all concerned in his detention". 

In the summer of 1776, occurred the CA^ent, so dear to local tradi- 
tion, when the leaden statue of George the third, torn from its gilded 
glory on Bowling Green, was brought to Litchfield and turned into 
rebel bullets by a few of the women and young people of the town. 
Tliis Avas done, it is supposed, at the instance of Oliver Wolcott, who 


had just returned to Connecticut from Philadelpliia, and was 
always keenly alive to the needs of the army. Among his papers 
was found the following account of the cartridges made on this occa- 

Mrs. Marvin, 3456 cartridges. 

" " on former account, 2602 


Kuth Marvin on former account, 6204 

Not sent to court house 449 packs, 5388 


Laura, on former account, 4250 

Not sent to court house 344 packs, 4128 


Mary Ann, on former account, 5762 

Not set to the court house 119 packs, 
out of which I let Colonel Perley Hov/e 
have 3 packs, 5028 


Frederick, on former account, 708 

Not sent to court house, 19 packs, 228 


Mrs. Beach's two accounts, 2002 

Made by sundry persons, 2182 

Gave Litchfield militia, on alarm, 50 

Let the regiment of Col. WigglesAvorth have 300 

Cartridges, No. 42,288 

Overcharged in Mrs. Beach's ac<ount, 200 


Woodruff, p. 47, says of this, "the late Hon. Judge Wolcotf,. 
who figures in the account as 'Frederick', and who was a boy at 
the time, informed me a few years ago that he well remembered 
the circumstance of the statue being sent there, ixvA that a shed 
was erected for the occasion in an apple orchard adjoining the 
house, Avhere his father chopped it up with the wood axe, and the 
'girls' had a fi'olic in running the bullets and making them up into 
cartridges. ... 

"The estimation in which lead was held in those days may be 
imagined from the fact that the above account of cartridges is filed 
carefully among returns of troops, accounts of requisitions upon 
the states, and issues of bills of credit". 

In October of this year, Oliver Wolcott was reappointed a mem- 
ber of the Continental Congress; and Drs. Reuben Smith and Setii 
Bird were appointed by the Legislature to serve on a committee "to 
examine all ]>ersons in this State that should be offered as Surgeons 


or Surgeons' Mates in the continental army or navy, and if found 
qualified, to give tliem certificates". Andrew Adams was appointed 
with others, to cause the arrest of all suspected persons, and those 
dangerous to the liberties of America. 

In December, the Legislature appointed Tapping Eeeve and 
Lynde Lord on a committee "to rouse and animate the people", and 
endeavor to procure the enlistment of volunteers for Washington's 
army. A company was forthwith raised in Litchfield, and the fol- 
lowing officers were commissioned: Nathaniel Goodwin, Captain; 
Alexander Waugh, Lieutenant; and Ozias Goodwin, Ensign. At 
the same session. Colonel Wolcott was promoted to the rank of 
Brigadier General, and given the command of the Fourth Brigade. 

This winter was a profoundly trying time for the American army. 
Mr. Ellsworth tells us that Fiske considered the attack on Trenton 
the most critical point in Washington's career, for the terms of 
service of the greater part of his men expired on NeAv Year's Day, 
and had the attack failed it would have been almost impossible to 
fill his ranks again. "In that dark hour", says Mr. Ellsworth, 
"New England did her duty and sent all the troops she could raise 
to create a diversion in the neighborhood of New York. Judge 
Tapping Eeeve . . . was one of those who went . . . and served as 
an officer until the news of the victories of Trenton and Prince- 
ton brought assurance that Washington's army Avas safe for a time". 

Through all changes of manners and modes of Avarfare, the 
essential problems of war remain the same; armament, food, cloth- 
ing and shelter for the army; means of raising money; provision 
for the families of soldiers; regulation of prices; — our revolutionary 
fathers knew them all. 

"Early in 1777", says Kilbourne, p. 113, "orders Avere issued for 
raising eight battalions in Connecticut for the continental service, 
'to serve for three years or during the war'." (The necessity for 
long enlistments had been brought home to the people). "Ninety 
two soldiers for these battalions were ordered to be raised in Litch- 
field". In March we find the tOAvn voting as follows: 

"Voted that the families of such soldiers belonging to this town who 
shall undertake in the Continental Army in the Connecticut Battalions, and 
have not time and opportunity to lay out their money, and make proper pro- 
vision for their families in their absence ; be supplied with necessaries at the 
prices stated by law on reasonable request and lodging money therefore, . . . 
agreeable to an order and Recommendation of the Hon. the Governor and 
Council of Safety of the i8th March, 1777. 

"Also, Voted strictly to adhere to and jointly and severally endeavor td 
enforce, support and maintain the Law regulating prices as recommended 
in said proclamation". 

In April, they further voted to pay out of the town treasury "to 
each soldier that should enlist for the term specified, the sum of 
twelve pounds per annum", in addition to their pay from the State 
or Federal Government. 


Town votes of a similar nature are recorded tlirougliout the 
war. In those days the town was far more than now the unit 
of government, and the town vote regulated many things that are 
now controlled by the State or Nation. 

In this year of 1777 the people began to feel the inevitable 
reaction from the first enthusiasm of the war. A letter, quoted by 
Kilbourne, pp. 107-110, from Dr. Eeuben Smith to Oliver Wolcott, 
then attending Congress in Philadelphia, gives us a vivid picture 
of the doubts and discoiiragements of the time. Kilbourne reminds 
us that "considerable allowance must be made for the personal and 
political prejudices of the writer"; and that "the insinuation in 
regard to Major Welch" is "ungenerous and uncalled for"; that 
aside from his active service in the field, that gentleman had been 
again and again elected to public offices, at times when the "least 
suspicion of Toryism" would not be tolerated. The letter follows: 

Litchfield, 17 April, 1777. 

Hon'd Sir — Your favor of the ist instant came to hand the iSth, and I 
now sit down to give you the desired information, though ignorant of any 
proper conveyance. 

At the Town Council in January, John Marsh, 3d, and Daniel Rowe, 
were objected to as Innholders; upon which Captain John, who is this year 
one of the Selectmen, moved that Marsh might be called in, which was 
agreed to. He accordingly came in, and acknowledged the several charges 
in substance, and openly declared that in his opinion America had better 
settle the dispute on the best terms they could obtain from Great Britain ; 
that the further we proceeded, the deeper we should get in the mire, (his 
own words,) and must finally submit. Captain John tried to help him out 
by putting some questions which would admit of ambiguous answers ; but 
the young man was too open and frank in his answers;, and accordingly was 
left out, as was Rowe. Captain Seymour and David Stoddard were put in 
their room. 

The latter end of January I joined the army under General Wooster, 
and retreating soon after in a stormy night, was over fatigued, fell sick, 
was carried up to Horseneck and there discharged, and returned home some- 
time in February. . . . 

I can't recollect that March produced anything very remarkable except 
the struggle about the small-pox. 

April is a month of great importance and expectation. Several appeared 
by the suffrages to be candidates for election at the Freemen's Meeting. 
Mr. Adams came in first; and, after many rounds, Mr. Strong just carried 
it against Captain Bradley. Captain John Marsh fell much short of the 
number I expected. Major Welsh, who for some time has appeared a cool 
friend of the American causey, was observed to have nearly all the tory 
votes. So much for Deputies. The Constables for Litchfield were Lieu- 
tenant Mason, (since dead,) Alexander Catlin, Briant and David Stoddard. 
Lieutenant Mason was appointed in the winter service, was seized with a 
pleurisy at DeLancey's Mills, (Westchester,) sent over to Rochelle, and 
when we retreated from Fort Independence, was removed to Mamrock, 
where he died the same day. His eldest son, who was with Captain Beebe 
at Fort Washington, came home about the same time in a very miserable 


condition, and is since dead. Captain Beebe and Lieutenant Jesse Grant 
still remain in captivity. It was said, after our success at Trenton and 
Princeton, that we were abundantly able to exchange all our prisoners ; and 
certain it is, that we have numbers in hand, and yet our people are held 
prisoners. Is there not somewhere a neglect? May these partial ills be 
productive of universal good? Has my honored friend any bright prospects? 
Has he any cordial for one almost in the Nadir of Despondency? Public 
spirit and virtue exist with «s only in idea. Almost every one is pursuing 
his private gain, to the entire neglect of the public good. Our proportion 
of the continental army, I believe, is not half completed. Men will not 
enlist, and if drafted only for six weeks, (as has lately been the case,) they 
will rather pay a fine of five pounds. Thirteen men were the other day 
drafted in Captain Marsh's company to go to Peekskill and to be held but 
six weeks after their arrival. Not one has gone or intends to go. This 
town met last week and voted £12 premium for every one that should 
enlist into the continental army for three years or during the war ; but I 
cannot learn that one man has enlisted since. This day orders came to 
town from the Governor and Council of Safety to fill up the Eight Battalions 
immediately, by drafting men out of the militia and alarm companies, till 
the 1st of January ; but it will not be done, as a fine of five pounds will 
excuse from going. 

Our money is continually depreciating. This week, John Collins sold 
two yoke of oxen for £95, which might have been bought a twelve month 
past for £20 per yoke. Every necessary article is continually rising in price, 
which proves a fatal discouragement to men's engaging in the service ; for 
if they go, their families (say they) must unavoidably suffer and starve, as 
their bounty and pay will not procure them the necessary support. 

Monday, 28th April. — Finding no opportunity of forwarding the fore- 
going, direct, it has lain by until this time, and now send it to the Post Oflfice 
in Hartford with the following addition : 

Intelligence was brought to town last Saturday afternoon, that twenty- 
four Transports were come to a place called Compo, between Fairfield and 
Norwalk, and that the troops were landing. About two o'clock next morn- 
ing, an Express came from New Milford, who informed that the troops 
landed to the number of three thousand, with some light field-pieces, and 
proceeded direct to Danbury, where they arrived without the least opposi- 
tion on Saturday at two o'clock in the afternoon, took possession of our 
stores and the town, which was said to be in flames when the Express came 
away. The people with great spirit turned out immediately from all our 
towns, but I fear to little purpose; for if they fired the town Saturday 
afternoon, they will get on board their shipping before our people get down. 
Last night advice was brought that the enemy was landing at New Haven 
on Saturday night, but I imagine it to be only a feint in order to prevent 
their retreat being cut ofif. We have heard nothing from Danbury since the 
departure of our people. The Tories are grown very insolent, but I believe 
they will not dare attempt anything openly with us. 

Mrs. Wolcott and family are well. Oliver is gone to Danbury. My 
haste must apologize for abruptness. &c. 

I am, Sir, Your Humble Servant, 



"Oliver" herein referred to is, of course, tlie younger Oliver 
Wolcott, then seventeen yeiirs old, and a student at Yale. He was 
in Litc'lifield at the time of the Alarm, and Kilbourne tells us, p. 110, 
how awakened at night, he armed himself and set out, at once, with 
his mothers charge, "to conduct like a good soldier". 

Evidently Dr, Smith's pessimism concerning the spirit of the 
people was unfounded, or else the historian Gibbs Avas misinformed; 
for the latter tells us, that the fourteen men who left Litchfield 
on this occasion, were "■the last in Litchfield capable of hearing 

Woodruff, pp. 3940, quotes a second letter of Dr. Smith's, dated 
Max 12th of this year, in which he Avrites more fully of the Alarm. 

"Sunday morning, 27th April, about one o'clock, we were 
alarmed; our people turned out spiritedly; came up with rear of 
the enemy about eleven the next day, a little below Wilton Meeting 
House, and pursued them aboard their ships, Paul Peck was killed 
in the last attack on the enemy. Levi Peck, Thomas Peck's son, 
was Avounded in the shoulder about the same time; in Wilton, Ozias 
Goodwin was Avounded in the arm, and Salmon Buel had one of his 
thighs broken, and the other shot through with the same ball. 

The infamous Daniel Griswold, came into the western part of 
the Town, the morning before the alarm, and was there concealed 
till Monday, and took off to join the ministerial army, David Kil- 
born, Benjamin Kilborn's son Cha's, Isaac Kilborn's son Abraham, 
and Samuel Kilborn son to Giles Kilborn, Jonathan Smith, Jr., 
and his brother Elisha, (who was enlisted in the light horse.) 
David Joy, Ephraim Bates, Benjamin Doolittle, Josiah Stone, and 
John Davies' youngest son David, and one John Beach of Wood- 
bury who lived at Josiah Stone's. 

The Wednesday following they were taken, (except Benjamin 
Dootlittle, and Charles Kilborn, who it is said Avere killed in 
attempting to escape,) and Avere carried to Derby, where they Avere 
tried by a Court Martial, and GrisAvold Avas sentenced to be hanged; 
Avhich sentence Avas executed the Monday following, at New Haven. 
The rest AA'ere pardoned, upon their enlisting into the Continental 
Army <luring the War. ..." 

Of Paul Peck, alluded to in the Letter of Doct. Smith, it is 
said, "he Avas the most expert hunter of the time in AA^hich he lived. 
At the Danbury Alarm, he put his large Gun in order, and foUoAved 
the enemy to Compo, on their retreat, and took a station behind a 
stone Avail, and every shot told, until he Avas rushed upon by the 
enemy, avIio took his gun from him and dashed his brains out with 
it." He Avas killed April 28th, 1777, aged about scA^enty -five years. 

Kilbourn tells us, j). Ill, that "Father Mills the eccentric clergy- 
man of Torringford, Avishing on one occasion to illustrate the cer- 
tain and irrcA^ocable doom of the Avicked, told of a timid Berkshire 
fox that started on a trip to the Sound", and "having safely passed 
the snares, and hunters, and hounds, that beset his Avay, he became 


careless, proud and self-conceited. 'He enters Fat Swamp at a 
Jolly trot, head and tail up, looking defiance at the enemies he has 
left so far behind him. But O, the dreadful reverse: In the midst 
of his haughty reverie, he is brought to a sudden and everlasting 

Of Griswold, Kilbourne says, p. 116, that he was reputed to 
be "a young man of good character and energy, and was not unpopu- 
lar with a large class of whigs. Perhaps, by the bloody code of war, 
he ought to have suffered death as a traitor for enlisting soldiers for 
the king's service; though it is a fact beyond dispute, that there 
were among the king's troops, in that very contest, whole regiments 
of 'Royal Americans', as they were styled. Many of the leading 
Avhigs of Litchfield were open in their condemnation of the action 
of the Court Martial in this instance, and the event probably did 
not advance the republican cause in this town". 

In June of this year, the town witnessed the passage of foui- 
companies of Sheldon's Horse, under the leadershij) of Major Ben- 
jamin Tallmadge, bound to reinforce General Washington at his 
headquarters, at Morristown. Kilbourne suggests, p. 150, that it 
was probably on this occasion that the troops attended public wor- 
ship in the old Meeting House, and that Judah Champion offered 
the prayer, before referred to, which is given in Hollister's History 
of Connecticut, Vol. II, pp. 390: 

"O Lord, we vicAv with terror and dismay the enemies of Thy 
holy religion. Wilt Thou send storm and tempest to toss them 
upon the sea, and to overwhelm them in the mighty deep or to 
scatter them to the uttermost parts of the earth. But, peradventure, 
should any escape Thy A^engeance, collect them together again, O 
Lord! as in the hollow of Thy hand, and let Thy lightnings play 
upon them. We do beseech Thee, moreover, that Thou do gird 
up the loins of these Thy servants who are going forth to fight Thy 
battles. Make them strong men, that 'one shall chase a thousand, 
and two shall put ten thousand to flight'. Hold before them the 
shield with which Thou wast wont in the old time to protect Thy 
chosen people. Give them swift feet, that they may pursue their 
enemies, and swords terrible as that of Thy destroying angel, that 
they may cleave them down when they have overtaken them. Pre- 
serve these servants of thine, Almighty God! and bring them once 
more to their homes and friends, if Thou canst do it consistently 
with Thine high purposes. If, on the other hand. Thou has decreed 
that they shall die in battle, let Thy Spirit be present with them, 
and breathe upon them, that they may go up as a sweet sacrifice into 
the courts of Thy temple, where are habitations prepared for them 
from the foundations of tliq world". 

Sheldon's Regiment of Horse, says Kilbourne, p. 128, "was 
Washington's favorite corps, and continued to act under his imme- 
diate direction till the Treaty of Peace was signed — constituting at 
once his messengers, his body-guard, and his agents for the accom- 


plishment of any enterprise, however desperate". Colonel Sheldon, 
commander of the regiment, "had been for some twenty years a 
resident of Litchfield, and his troops were raised almost exclusively 
in this vicinity. Captains Moses Seymour, Stanton and Wads- 
worth, of this town, commanded companies in this corps — Captain 
Stanton being at the same time Paymaster of the Eegiment. Major 
Tallmadge was one of Sheldon's most efficient Majors". 

Tallmadge is one of the most attractive and dashing figures of 
our revolutionary history. He was later to establish himself in 
Litchfield, and enter into business enterprise and public affairs with 
the same adventurous enthusiasm with which he conducted himself 
in the war. He always held a high place in the esteem of the 
people. He joined the army early in 1776 and became a Captain 
of Dragoons later in that year. His company was mounted entirelj^ 
on dapple-greys, and Kilbourne tells us, p. 150, that with their black 
straps and bear-skin holster covers they "looked superbly". Their 
commander was at this time a young man of twenty three. A 
sketch of him by Colonel TrmnbuU, shows, under the plumed helmet 
of the Dragoon, a high-bred sensitive face, clear-eyed, confident and 
gallant. His service throughout the war fulfilled this promise. 

During the summer of 1777, the depot at Litchfield was actively 
employed in receiving and transmitting supplies. We can imagine 
the bustle and excitement of the little town with the passage of 
troops and supply trains. Kilbourne gives us, pp. 117-118, an 
account of this activity. "On the 30th of June, Governor Trumbull 
wrote to General Wolcott, informing him that a team would be 
sent to Litchfield loaded with powder, lead and flints, and request- 
ing him to send a team to Salisbury for a load of cannon-shot, to 
be forwarded to Hartford by returning teams. By a subsequent 
record of the Council of Safety, it appears that on this occasion, 
there were sent to Litchfield seventeen hundred pounds of gun- 
powder, two thousand pounds of lead, one thousand flints, and three 
hundred pounds of caiuion-powder. 

"On the 23rd of July following, an order was drawn on David 
Trumbull, for twenty five pounds, five shillings and tenpence, in 
favor of John and Daniel Dewey, 'for carting powder and lead from 
Lebanon to Litchfield' ". 

In the following month. New York appealed to New England 
to come to their aid, and Dr. Goodwin tells us, p. 11, that "the com- 
mittee of the town of Litchfield transmitted by return post on 
August 4th, 1777, the following reply: 

"Yours of the First Instant respecting the alarming Situation 
of our northern affairs never reached us before this moment. 
Surely, Gentlemen, we shall never be backward in affording every 
Possible aid in our power for the Belief of the County of Albany. 
We are not so narrow and Contracted as not to extend every assist- 
ance as well to the Inhabatents of a sister state as to those of our 
own; nor do we imagine that we our selfs can long be safe whilst 

Col. Benjamin Tallmadge 

From a Portrait by Ralph Earle 

Mrs. Benjamin Tallmadge 

From a Portrait by Ralph Earle 


Desolation and Conquest over spread your State. In short our 
Feelings are such that Ave would run every Hazzard, and risque 
every danger, for you that we should for ourselves". 

In August, also, according to Kilbourne, p. 118, "General Wol- 
cott wrote to the Governor and Council, stating that he had ordered 
all the effective men of Sheldon's Horse and Humphrey's regiment, 
(who had not been called to duty under the recent act, and were 
liable to be called out of the State), to march immediately to Peeks- 
kill, well provided with arms, and Avith forty days' provisions. The 
General's course was approved, and an order was directed to be 
drawn on the State Treasurer, in his favor, for the sum of £1,000. 
About the same time, Sheriff Lord was directed to procure from 
the merchants of Litchfield county, for the use of the army, four 
hogsheads of rum, six hogsheads of sugar, and two thousand pounds 
of coffee, at a stipulated price. If the merchants refused to furnish 
the goods at the price named, the Sheriff was ordered to take the 
articles wherever he could find them, at the appraisal of two or 
three judicious freeholders and to make return of his doings to the 

"In September, Litchfield was established by the Council, as 
the place of rendezvous for the Sixth Brigade, and Major Beebe Avas 
stationed here as the recruiting officer for the Brigade. 

"Late in the autumn of this year, a large proportion of the 
military stores, taken at the capture of Bourgoyne, Avere deposited 

The capture of Bourgoyne brought new hope to the Americans. 
One of the British officers, wounded at Saratoga, said, when he 
heard the fate of the day: "Then the contest is no longer doubtful, 
America Avill be independent. I have fought earnestly for my King 
and Country, but the contest is ended". This officer was a prisoner 
in the custody of Captain Moses Seymour, whose troop of horse 
was in that memorable engagement. 

Captain Seymour's account of the dinner given by the American 
officers to Bourgoyne and his associates after the surrender is 
recorded by Kilbourne, p. 158: "The utmost courtesy and good feel- 
ing prevailed on the part of the principal officers, and the responses 
to the sentiments given were hearty and enthusiastic. At length. 
General Bourgoyne was called upon for a toast. Every voice was 
for the moment hushed into the deepest attention, as he arose and 
gave: 'America and Great Britain against the world!' The response 
which foUoAved may be imagined". 

In spite of the success at the North, however, the army in Penn- 
sylvania had suffered double defeat on the Brandywine and at 
Germantown, and these losses were followed by the bitter Avinter 
at Yalley Forge. It was a dark day for the young nation. Neverthe- 
less, the people were grimly determined to adhere to their cause. In 
January, 1778, the town of Litchfield confirmed by vote the Articles 
of Confederation and Perpetual Union betAveen the States. 


In this winter we hear again of Tallniadge, who was stationed 
with a detachmen of dragoons, as an advanced corps of observation 
between our army and that of the enemy. He Avrote to Washington 
constantly at this time of the need of money and the difficulty of 
procuring the supplies necessary for his troops. 

Later in 1778, he was transferred to service along the Sound, 
and began his private correspondence with Washington and his 
organization of an Intelligence Service, which he was to continue 
throughout the war. His letters of this period which are pre- 
served in the Litchfield Historical Society are very interesting, 
showing the care and attention which lie gave to detail, combined 
with the imagination to conceive extended plans. He also shows 
a consideration for his subordinates remarkable in so young an 

Throughout the year 1779, he wrote nearly every month, arrang- 
ing to receive and pass on intelligence through men posted behind 
the British lines. A code was established and some sort of special 
ink, requiring a stain, was used. Early in this year, he spoke of 
the j)ossible end of the war: there were certain significant move- 
ments of the enemy; Tories were selling their land. In September, 
he conducted a successful raid on Lloyd's Neck, to break up a band 
of freebooters, who from this shelter near a strong British post 
had been plundering the Connecticut shore. In spite of the success 
of this particular raid and the capture of nearly the entire band of 
marauders, the plundering of the coast was to be an annoyance till 
the end of the war, and Tallmadge was continually combatting it. 

The hope of peace held in the early part of 1779 was not to be 
realized; and in 1780 we find Tallmadge still conducting operations 
on the Sound. 

Meanwhile, the army at Morristown was in great distress after 
a severe Avinter, and Washington appealed to Governor Trumbull 
for aid. His messenger was detained but a short time, when Gov- 
ernor Trumbull placed a sealed letter in his hand, directed to Gen- 
eral Washington, announcing that on a certain day he would 
receive at Newburgh, by a wagon train from Hartford, two hundred 
barrels of flour, one hundred barrels of beef, and one hundred bar- 
rels of pork. Washington's comment on opening the letter was: 
"If the Lord would make windows in heaven, might this thing 
be". And when the provisions arrived on the day appointed, he 
said: "No other man than Governor Trumbull could have procured 
them, and no other state than Connecticut would have furnished 
them". This train passed through Litchfield, where additional sup 
plies were obtained. Colonel Henry Champion, the father of the 
Rev. Judah Champion and of Mrs. Julius Doming, accompanied the 
train, in charge of a drove of cattle, which were tolled across the 
Hudson by the side of small boats. 

In Litchfield, in this year, the town did everything possible 
to encourage recruiting and to help the army. It is interesting to 
see the effort made to neutralize for the soldier the high cost of 


living, b}"^ a town vote to "malve good to him his Forty Shillings per 
Month, by such addition to the Pay he shall receive from the State 
or the United States as shall make said Pay sufficient to purchase 
as much Provisions as Forty Shillings would have done in 1774". 

Besides the visits at various times of Lafayette, Kochambeau 
and other generals, those of General Washington stand out in the 
traditions of Litchfield. In September, 1780, he arrived here on 
his way from Hartford to West Point, and according to Gibbs was 
entertained at General Wolcott's house. The following morning 
he proceeded westward. It was on his arrival at West Point from 
this journey that the historical breakfast occurred, at which the 
treason of Benedict Arnold was revealed. On the evening before, 
September 23, 1780, near Northcastle, Major Tallmadge Avas busily 
engaged in unraveling the mystery of Arnold's associate, John 
Andre, who in the guise of John Anderson had been captured by 
three militiamen. Tallmadge discovered the identity of Andre and 
suspected the treachery of Arnold. If his recommendations to 
Colonel Jameson, his superior officer, had been acted upon, Arnold 
would never have escaped. 

Andre remained a prisoner in Tallmadge's custody until the 
time of his execution. During this brief period a warm attach- 
ment sprang up between the two young men. Years later Tall- 
madge wrote: "I became so deeply attached to Major Andre, that 
I can remember no instance where my affections were so fully 
absorbed in any man. When I saw him swinging under the gibbet, 
it seemed for a time as if I could not support it". 

Shortly after this tragedy, Tallmadge was on duty again along 
the Sound; and in November he made a successful attack on Fort 
George on the south side of Long Island. In 1781 he actively con- 
tinued his Intelligence Service, and secured plans of the enemy's 
works at various points. He also arranged for Count Eochambeau, 
then at Newport, to communicate with the secret agents and to use 
their services, for which the Count was to provide the necessary 
money. On May 2, 1781, Tallmadge wrote to Washington from 
Wethersfield concerning this latter arrangement. On May 18th Wash- 
ington made the following entry in his diary: "Set out this day for 
an interview at Wethersfield with the Count de Eochambeau and 
Admiral Barras. Eeached Morgan's Tavern, 43 miles from Fish- 
skill Landing, after dining at Col. Vanderberg's May 19th. 

Breakfasted at Litchfield, dined at Farmington, and lodged at Weth- 
ersfield at the house of Mr. Joseph Webb". 

Whether Washington visited Litchfield a third time is uncer- 
tain ; but on one of his visits he lodged at the Gould house on North 
Street, then occupied as a tavern by Samuel Sheldon. Captain 
Salmon Buel remembered going early in the morning, with about 
fifty of his school fellows, to see the renowned commander on this 
occasion. "A company of horse-guards was drawn up before the 
house waiting for him; but, as he was not ready to start, the 
guards rode down North Street and for a considerable distance out 


West Street, returning in a short time to the Gould House. The 
General now came out, mounted his horse, and the cavalcade pro- 
ceeded down South Street, perhaps to enable him to pay his respects 
to General Wolcott". (Kilbourne, p. 130). 

During the last three years the center of military operations 
had shifted to the south, and it was there in this year 1781 that 
the decisive battle of the war was fought. "When Cornwallis was 
forced to retreat toward the north, after his engagement at Guilford 
Court House, North Carolina, he took a position at Yorktown. 
LaFayette had been sent by Washington against him and he held 
the British in check while the grand coup of the war was accom- 
plished. The commander-in-chief, with his army from the High- 
lands of the Hudson, including several Connecticut regiments, was 
making a feint as if to attack New York; his enemy's weak position 
on the York peninsula developed — the French fleet was investing it 
on one side — and Washington, by a swift movement, marched south- 
ward, and on the fourth anniversarj^ of Bourgoyne's surrender, our 
Litchfield county men heard the British bands play 'The World 
Turned Upside Down', as the army of Cornwallis laid down its 
arms". (W. W. Ellsworth: Semicentennial Address before the 
Litchfield Historical Society). 

It is part of the tragic necessity of war, and the suspicions 
engendered by it, that the machinery once set in motion cannot 
easily be brought to a stop; so, though the surrender of Cornwallis 
meant that American independence was assured, a state of war con- 
tinued, through the succeeding year and well into 1783. In the 
spring of 1782, the town of Litchfield voted to raise recruits by a 
sort of selective draft, decided on in 1781, by which the town was 
divided into classes, each class being responsible for i)rocuring a 
certain number of recruits. In March of this year three citizens 
of the town were assessed "on examination by the civil authorities 
and selectmen, agreeable to law, for each a son gone to the enemy". 

In the mean time, there was still a certain amount of unrest 
along the Sound; and Tallmadge was engaged in communicating 
intelligence, and through the first months of 1783 reported frequent 
skirmishes between British and American small craft on those 
waters. On March 29th he received rumors of peace, which were 
confirmed two days later. He immediately requested i3ermission to 
be among the first to enter New York, in order to protect the Secret 
Service men, whose position, by reason of its necessary concealments, 
would be misunderstood by patriots more openly engaged. 

It is a tribute to the good sense and good feeling of the people, 
that a number of British soldiers became residents of Litchfield 
after the war, and some of them died here leaving families. There 
was also the deserter Kichard Morris, who with his brother Eobert, 
left the British ranks to serve with the Americans under Captain 
Beebe. John Gatta, a Hessian, unwillingly impressed in the King's 
forces, who had deserted in New York and served in a New York 
regiment, also came subsequently to Litchfield, where he lived for 


fifty years and married the grand-daughter of Timothy Collins. 

Litchfield was quick to begin the readjustments permitted by 
peace and to return to normal life. 

In October, 1783, the town voted to adjust the claims of the non- 
commissioned officers and soldiers who had served in the eight bat- 
talions of Connecticut, and to whom a bonus had been previously 
granted by vote. This task, with the depreciation of currency, must 
have been a formidable one. An example of the light in which 
Continental money was considered is given in Kilbourne's account, 
pp. 160-161, of the experience of Elisha Mason, the last of Litch- 
field's Kevolutionary soldiers. "On one occasion, at the expiration 
of a term of service, he was discharged on the Hudson, and paid 
off in Continental currency. Starting homeward on foot, he reached 
D anbury, where he spent the night. In the morning, on attempt- 
ing to settle his bill, his Continental money was refused. He offered 
larger and still larger sums, and finally tendered bills to the 
amount of forty dollars, for lodging and meals; but the landlord 
refused to take the money on any terms. Mr. Mason was finally 
compelled to pawn his rifle to cancel his indebtedness. As his wages 
were but eight dollars per month, he thus offered the avails of five 
months' services for his keeping for twelve hours. 

A sufferer from the depreciation of the currency, on a larger 
scale, was Julius Deming, who had served throughout the war *as 
Commissary officer. At one time, when money was urgently needed, 
for the purchase of cattle, he advanced to Colonel Champion, his 
superior officer, four Loan Office Certificates for $400 in cash, 
amounting in all to $1,600. Besides this his commissions from 
the Government, on purchases made by him aggregating $1,493,209, 
amounted to $28,247,96, which represented his income during three 
years of service. When the day of payment came, and he received 
Continental currency worth 1 to 70 or 72, the amount of his loss 
can easily be figured, as his commissions, large though they appear, 
amounted to less than half of his actual loan to Colonel Champion. 

In the latter part of 1780, Mr, Deming came to Litchfield, and in 
1790 built the house on North Street known as "the Lindens". In 
1784, Major Tallmadge had established himself in his house on the 
other side of the street, bought two years before. Here the two 
distinguished men, long to be associated in business enterprises, 
enjoyed the years of prosperity in the "Golden Age" of Litchfield's 
history, to which each contributed so much. 



The Eev. Dan Huntington, who was pastor in Litchfield from 
1798 to 1809, wrote of the town as it was when he first came here: 
"A delightful village, on a fruitful hill, richly endowed with schools 
both professional and scientific, with its venerable governors and 
judges, with its learned lawyers, and senators, and representatives 
both i]i the national and state departments, and with a population 
enlightened and respectable, Litchfield was now in its glory". 

We have indeed reached the golden age of our town, the years 
following the Eevolutionary War and the first three or four decades 
of the Nineteenth Ceutur}^, an amazing period for a small village, 
not so much because of the inhabitants of prominence at the time, 
as because of their achievements, because of the pioneer work they 
did in so many different directions. Here, as we so proudly remem- 
ber, was the first Law School, the only one at that day conducted in 
the English language in any country ; here too was the first school for 
the higher education of girls in America; here were the first mani- 
festations of the temperance movement; here were taken the first 
steps in the work of foreign missions; here were printed the first 
Reports of law cases; here were the beginnings of the spirit which 
led to the increased independence of married women under the Law; 
here were conducted some of the pioneer industrial experiments in 
the state. From the intellectual leadership of the Law School to 
the pioneer manufacture of elastic suspenders is a long interval, 
which Litchfield filled with energy and competence, until about 1840 
the valleys throughout Connecticut conquered the hilltops and left us 
only the memories of our achievements. 

But the social, intellectual and commercial leadership of Litch- 
field was attained under circumstances so unusual, that the story 
reads like a romance. Still secluded from the great world of the 
cities, Avithout mails or roads adapted to passenger traffic, with its 
rigorous climate and the interminable hills, Litchfield won its way 
forward step by step. It became a pioneer in so many and such 
important directions because its population were pioneers. There 
were no drones in Litchfield; the same energy that was converting 
the forests into meadows was being exercised by a few leading 
spirits towards converting the rude settlement at the center into 
a polished and noteworthy society, in which Washington and Lafay- 
ette could be received as equals. It was the triumph of the puritan 
spirit, brave, unyielding, severe to itself and just to others; if we 
think that it was a religion too concentrated upon doctrine and too 

The Jedediah Strong Milestone at Elm Ridge, 1787 


hard upon the individual, must we not yet confess that it made 
Litchfield within a hundred years a place looked up to far and wide. 
Litchfield was a town of happy gaiety as well as of severe learning 
and work, it had every i)hase of life represented, except that of 
scandal. It was sometimes called a staid old town and a prim vil- 
lage, but those who called it such are quite forgotten now, while 
the memory of the golden age will always be fresh. 

Apart from the indomitable character of the settlers, two chief 
elements entered into the success of the town. The first was the 
formation of Litchfield County with the importance given to our 
legal life by the sessions here of such frequent Courts ; and the other 
was the capture of New York hj the British in the Eevolution, 
which threw all the business of the War onto the northern highway 
from Boston and Hartford to West-Point passing through our vil- 
lage. When Washington, at some crisis, would call upon Governor 
Trumbull for help. Brother Jonathan never failed him and the help 
and supplies would either be sent on forthwith from the stores in 
Litchfield or they would pass through the town from points further 
to the east. Every man in Litchfield was in the War; when the 
last fourteen men were sent to help in the defence of Danbury they 
included the boys of sixteen and the old men of seventy five. Happily 
no such need has ever come again to our country and our town ; but 
it was the need that made our town, in the sense of its prosperity. 
With the close of the War achievement came with a great rush, that 
swept before it all the obstacles of location and all the handicaps 
of our belated start. It may have been another half a dozen years 
before the government would give the town a post office, but the 
town was starting its own newspaper and its own Law School within 
one year, it was starting its own trade and training its own men to 
become Governors and chief justices for the state, and Senators for 
the United States. 

A half mile from the center, on the Bantam Koad, at Elm Kidge, 
is still standing the old white marble stone, which reads: 

30 Miles to 


102 Miles to 

New York, 

J. Strong, 
A. D. 1787. 
Jedediah Strong, as we shall see, was not a citizen representative 
of Litchfield at its best; but he had the Litchfield spirit. The only 
thing that separated Litchfield from other cities was distance, which 
in turn could always be expressed in miles. 

When it became apparent that a government post-office would 
be slow in coming, it was local enterprise that decided to hasten the 
day by the establishment of its own office, so that in January, 1791, 
we find the Monitor issuing the following advertisement: 


"Post-Oifice Establishment. The Public, particularly Gentle- 
men in the Town and Vicinity of Litchfield, having some time 
lamented the want of a regular and weekly Intercourse with the City 
of Hartford, by a Post immediately from this Town — are respect- 
fully assured, that a Post in conjunction with Mr, Isaac Trow- 
bridge, the Eider from New York, will start from this Office for 
Hartford regularly, once a week, commencing on Monday next, the 
31st inst. This Establishment has met the Sanction and Concur- 
rence of Mr. Trowbridge; and the Undertakers will be subject to the 
same Eegulation and Responsibility required by the Postmaster 
General, Consequently, every Duty annexed to the Business will 
be strictly and pointedly observed, 

"And that the Public may be better accomodated, and derive a 
safe Repository for their Letters, &c,, a Post-Office is opened at 
Collier's Printing Office — at which place all Despatches, to be trans- 
mitted through the medium of either post, must be deposited. Dur- 
ing the Winter, (till the 1st of May next,) the Post from Ncav York 
will ride once a fortnight, and arrive on Tuesday evenings; com- 
mencing the 5th of the ensuing month. Those who have Business 
or Letters are requested to leave their directions at this Office, for 
New York on Tuesday, for Hartford on Saturday Evenings, preced- 
ing the days of departure; as the Posts will positively start at an 
early Hour. Letters Avill be received at this Office for any part of 
the United States". 

The establishment of this private Post gave the necessary spur 
to the Govermnent, which in a year opened a Post Office in the 
town. This formed one link on the Post Road from New York to 
Hartford, passing through White Plains, Northcastle, Salem, Pound 
Ridge, Ridgefield, D anbury. New Milford, Litchfield, Harwinton and 
Farmington. At first the Litchfield office was the only one in the 
County, and it is interesting to read the advertisements of unclaimed 
letters, like the following, which shows only six letters unclaimed 
for the whole county for a period of three months : either the number 
of letters was very small or the interest in obtaining them was so 
great that every one was diligently called for: 

"List of Letters at the Post Office in Litchfield last quarter: 
Noble Bostwick, Ncav Milford; Justus Cook, Northbury; David Fan- 
cher, Watertown; Reuben and John Miner, Winchester; Jonathan 
Werden, Salisbury. B, Tallmadge, P. M. Litchfield, Nov. 1, 1792". 

"Within the half-dozen years next succeeding this date", Kil- 
bourne, p, 169, "commenced what may be characterized as the Era 
of Turnpikes and Stage-Coaches, which continued in its glorj'^ for 
something over forty years. During this period, very much was 
done to improve the routes of travel and to facilitate communication 
of town with town. Turnpike Companies were organized in all parts 
of the State, and turnpike stock was regarded by capitalists as a 
safe, profitable and permanent investment. The Litchfield and New 
Milford Turnpike Company was incorporated in October, 1797; 
the Litchfield and Harwinton Company, in October, 1798; and the 

\\\\A — iti. 


f/x /<//.(/ rf// . I n /7-'i . /> /r^'.T. /'rr//f /ifrm 

>«/,, 7Ai 

ffeiti-<fr (hr f'riirr in wAtcA Me £rfj 

Luh ('H\t\ 

\iy»,if\A f r.\Ui .l-'..vr r^tr. .re_nX 


Litchfield and Canaan Company, in May, 1799. Then followed 
Straits' Turnpike, from Litchfield to l^ew Haven, the Litchfield and 
Cornwall, the Litchfield and Torrington, and the Litchfield and Ply- 
mouth Turnpikes, — so that, in due time, it became almost impossible 
to get into or out of our towai without encountering a toll-gate. Four- 
horse Stage Coaches gradually came into use from the time that 
Turnpikes became general; and ultimately Congress enacted that 
the U. S. Mails should be thus conveyed on all the principal routes. 
Litchfield noAV became an important center of travel. Daily lines 
of Mail Stages were established between this village and Hartford, 
New Haven, Norwalk, Poughkeepsie and Albany". 

"There is also a turnpike", Morris, p. 93, "on the eastern bound- 
ary, running contiguously to Mattatuck or Waterbury river, uniting 
with the Straits turnpike at Salem, and running to Massachusetts 
line, through Winchester and Colebrook. As the rivers and rivu- 
lets are small, the Bridges are not worthy of a particular descrip- 
tion. The expense of keeping them in repair amounts to between 
two and three hundred dollars annually". 

Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel has preserved a number of the advertise- 
ments of the Stages in her Chronicles of a Pioneer School, including 
a long one in verse, pp. 22-23. We will only quote one of these, in 
which the emphasis is laid upon no night travelling ; One doubts its 
advantages on reading further that the stage leaves at 3 A. M. No 
wonder the passengers used to sit up all night for fear of being left 
behind, especially when they w^ere school girls going on their vaca- 
tions : 

"New Arrangement. Litchfield, New Milford, Danbury and 
Norwalk Mail Stage. This Stage leaves Josiah Park's Hotel, Litch- 
field, on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays at 3 in the morning, 
passing thro' New Preston, New Milford and Brookfleld and arrives 
at Danbury to lodge: leaves Danbury next morning for Noi'walk 
and arrives in time for passengers to take the steam boat for N. York. 
No Night Travelling. Fare through to New York 3.25. Eeturning 
Takes the Norwalk passengers at Danbury on Monday, Wednesday 
and Friday morning, and arrives in Litchfield the same day. For 
seats apply at the Bar at Park's Hotel, Litchfield, H. Barnes, Pro- 
prietor, November 10, 1829". 

A special importance was given to taverns by the increase of 
Stage Coaches, as the transient business which followed was added 
to the regular visitors coming to the town. Besides these, there 
w^ere the scholars at the two schools, sometimes over a hundred from 
other places, far and near, to be cared for, so that the houses which 
were not used as Inns, were often converted into boarding houses, 
and almost every house took in at least one boarder. 

Some of the taverns were special!}' successful and popular. 
There was Grove Catlin's Hotel, built about 1800, and later con- 
verted into the Mansion House. This remained an Hotel till the fire 
of 1886, and stood on the present site of Crutch & Marley's Drug 
Store. It figures prominently in Plate 26, and in Plate 27 is shown 


one of the typical old village scenes, the preparation of the annual 
Mansion House wood-pile. The logs were hauled in by teams, and 
then a considerable number of men were employed to saw up the 
pile, all at one time. For some years the pile used to stand out on 
the street. 

The house now owned by the Phelps House Corporation on East 
Street, next but one to the corner of North Street, was built by John 
Collins in 1782. He Avas a son of Timothy Collins, but he evidently 
thought that keeping a tavern would be more profitable than follow- 
ing in his father's footsteps in the church, and he opened the house 
as an Inn from the beginning. The bar was in the south west front 
room, with the ball room directl}^ overhead. 

In 1787, David Buell built the present Phelps' Tavern. This 
popular and well-known hostelry is to-day probably the oldest Hotel 
in point of continuous service now standing in the County, if not 
in the State. Yerj few country hotels have entertained so many 
distinguished men and women. As originally built the entire top 
floor was a ball-room, in which was given the famous Ball to Lafay- 
ette in 1824. A fuller description of this room will be found in the 
chapter on Amusements. The tavern was sold to John Phelps, 
under w^hose regime it first became so well known. 

The house on the east side of South Street, now OAvned by Mrs. 
Esther T. Champlin, was built by Benjamin Hanks in 1780. It was 
first used as an Hotel by Josiah Parks, in the late 20's. George 
BoUes later kept a tavern there, and built the addition to the south. 
Mr. Wadliams of Goshen was the last person who continued it as an 
hotel, and it passed into the possession of A. C. Smith in the early 
50's. Mr. Smith made the division between the north and south 

On North Street, a famous hostelry was Sheldon's Tavern, now 
the residence of John P. Elton. It is the second oldest house now 
standing in the Borough. It was built in 1760 by Elislia Sheldon, 
who came to Litchfield in 1753 with several other residents of Lyme, 
including Lynde Lord and Reynold Marfan. Judge Sheldon was 
Associate Judge of the Court of Common Pleas from 1754 to 1761, 
when he was elected a member of the Council at Hartford. He 
served in this position till his death in 1779. On his death, his 
son Samuel Sheldon converted the house into a tavern. It was pur- 
chased by Uriah Tracy, who made it his home till his death in 1807. 

The first Court-House was built in 1752, and stood in the center 
of the present Center Park, between the Church and the School. The 
second Court-House was built on the site of the present Court-House 
in 1797. Julius Deming acted for the town in its construction and 
the contract was awarded to Alexander and Moses Catlin. The 
contract and plans for its erection are preserved by the Litchfield 
Historical Society. It is described in the contract "to be 40 feet 
in front, 60 feet deep and 25 feet posts, with a flat roof to rise 1-5 or 
2-9 with four columns in front supporting a peddiment & a Cupola". 

The School-house was built in 1732. There had been, at first. 



ii ^ 


a good deal of discussion as to whether the Center School should be 
on Litchfield Hill or on Chestnut Hill, but once the matter was set- 
tled it appears to have given no further trouble. In the days of 
the golden age, the town had been divided into school districts, 
Avhich af one time reached the surprising number of 28, each with 
its own small school. And in addition there were a variety of 
private schools. In 1798, the care of the Schools passed into the 
hands of the First School Society, a body which remained in charge 
uutil 18.55, when the management was taken over again directly by 
the town. The Society also had charge of the Burying Grounds. 
It was directed by many of the prominent men of the town, in the 
form of a Committee, which probably corresponded very closely to 
the present School Board. On this committee we find the names of 
Lyman Beecher, Benjamin Tallmadge, Frederick Wolcott, Julius 
Deming, Moses Seymour, Uriah Tracy, and many others. Their great 
<'oncern, at least in the earlier years, was to obtain enough books 
that were alike. 

For a time, about 1798, there was a Public Library, and some- 
Avhat later a Litchfield Lyceum, Avith lectures. Debates and weekly 

Such, very briefly, Avas the setting in Avhicli the years of the 
Golden Age were to unfold, as we will now trace in a series of chap- 
ters dealing with its several distinct aspects. 



As we look back to the clays of the Litchfield Law School, 1784- 
1833, it stands out as the most important single feature in the History 
of our town. The picture we have of it in our minds is likely, 
however, to be somewhat fragmentary. The outer side of the pic- 
ture, what we call the picturesque side, is apt to dwarf the inner 
meaning of this remarkable achievement. We are likely to have 
in mind the charming account of the students' life left us in the 
Personal Memories of E. D. Mansfield, pp. 126-128: 

"We breakfasted from seven to eight in the morning, and at 
nine went to the lecture-room to hear and take notes of Judge 
Gould's lecture. The founder of the Litchfield LaAv School was 
Judge Tapping Eeeve, and, if tradition is correct, few better men 
liave ever lived, and scarcely any one was then better known to the 
bar. He was the author of a Treatise on Domestic Relations, which the 
lawyers admired, but said was not law, on account, I believe, of its 
leaning too much to women's rights, a fault which would not be 
found with it in this day. At the time I arrived in Litchfield, 1823, 
Judg'» Reeve had given up the law school to Judge Gould, who had 
been his partner, and he soon after died. He was a man rather 
noted for eccentricities. After the death of his first wife, he mar- 
ried his housekeeper, a most respectable woman, however, dis- 
tinguished for piety and benevolence. He was quite absent-minded, 
and one day he was seen walking up North Street, with a bridle 
in his hand, but without his horse, which had quietly slipped out 
and walked off. The Judge calmly fastened the bridle to a post, 
and walked into the house, oblivious of any horse. It was under the 
teaching of Judge Reeve that such men as John C. Calhoun and John 
M. Clayton, of Delaware, were law students. The school was iioat 
under the sole care of Judge Gould. At nine o'clock we students 
Avalked to the lecture-room, with our note-books under our arms. We 
had desks, with pen and ink, to record the important principles and 
authorities. The practice of Judge Gould was to read the prin- 
ciple from his own manuscript twice distinctly, pausing between, 
and repeating in the same manner the leading cases. Then Ave had 
time to note down the principle and cases. The remarks and illus- 
trations we did not note. After the lecture Ave had access to a law 
library to consult authorities. The lecture and references took 
a!>out two hours. Those of us Avho Avere in earnest, of Avhom I was 
one. immediately returned home, and copied out into our lecture- 
b(!(>ks all the principles and cases. My lecture-books made five 


volumes. The lectures, the references, and the copying took me, on 
an average, from nine o'clock until three or four o'clock, with the 
intermission of near an hour for dinner. Five to six hours a day 
employed in this manner was my regular work at Litchfield, and 
very seldom was a day missed. At four o'clock in the afternoon I 
was generally at leisure, and that was usually employed in walking 
or riding, sometimes in visiting. We prolonged our rides in sum- 
mer time, having taken an early tea, into the starlit shades of 
night. In the long days of summer no candles were lit in the 
farm-houses of Connecticut. When the deep twilight came, every 
family had gone to rest as completely as the chickens to their roosts ; 
but when the dawn of day came, they were up; and when we lazy 
students were at breakfast, they had done hours of work. Such 
were the Connecticut farmers of that day". 

These happy days of study, under circumstances unequalled at 
that time, the distinguished men who then crowded our streets, (men, 
rather, who were to be distinguished in the years to be) , the kindly, 
lovable figure of Tapping Reeve, and the more serious Gould, made 
the Law School the prominent feature of the town's life, unless we 
give precedence to the charm and beauty of the girls' school. Mrs. 
William Curtis Noyes has described the scene as an eye-witness, 
(Vanderpoel, p. 28) : "Imagine these now quiet streets with red 
coaches rattling through them, with signs of importer, publisher, 
goldsmith, hatter, etc., hanging on the shops with young men arriv- 
ing on horseback to attend the law school and divide their attention 
between their studies of the law and studies of the prettj^ pupils of 
the Female Academy. Then there were some gay bloods from the 
South so much at home in the town that they disported themselves 
in pink gingham frock coats!" 

We will return again to this picturesque side of the Law School ; 
but first it is important to try and summarize the real meaning of 
its achievement. To do so, we must go back to a survey of the 
legal practices before the Eevolution, and see just Avhere the study 
of law came into the general plan. Taking the country as a whole, 
the law then occupied a very different position from what it does at 
the present day. There was much less wealth, proportionately: so 
much less, that it is hard for us to realize the difference. In con- 
sequence, there was much less litigation of a strictly business char- 
acter. On the other hand, the body of the law was much less defined ; 
there were no law reports, till the day of our own Ephraim Kirby, 
1789 ; Constitutional Law, naturally, did not exist ; and the interpre- 
tations of the Common Law were the subject of much difference of 
opinion. Even more than to-day, the success of a lawyer depended 
on his individuality, and the roll-call of the lawyers of the County at 
Ihe time, as given for instance in the Centennial Address of Judge 
Church, 1851, pp. 54-59, shoAvs an aggregation, the average merit of 
whom is amazing when we take into account the difference in the 
I>opulation of the County as a whole and the difference in wealth. 
Our concern is only with the la-svyers of the township. 


Our most distinguished lawyer at the period of the War, was 
Andrew Adams. He was born in Stratford, 1736, and came to Litch- 
field in 17G4. He was one of our Eepresentatives to the General 
Assembly, 1776-1781, after which date he became a member of Con- 
gress. In May, 1793, he was appointed Chief Justice of the Superior 
Court of the State, in which office he died, November 27, 1797. Of 
him, Morris wrote, p. 110: "As a lawyer, few exceeded him; especially 
in managing causes before a jury. He was an able judge". The 
Monitor mentioned it as a sad coincidence that he and Governor 
Oliver Wolcott Sr., the two highest dignitaries of the State, residing 
on the same street of the same Adllage, were lying at the point of 
death at the same time. Governor Wolcott survived his distin- 
guished neighbor only four days, dying on December 1, 1797. (Bench 
and Bar, p. 217). 

Eejniold Marvin came to Litchfield from Lyme in 1751, and was 
appointed King's Attorney in 17()-1. He' was a distinguished lawyer, 
but the coming on of the War led liini to resign his office, and there 
is no record that he remained in practice. His sympathies appear 
to have been strongly with the cause of Indei)endence, He died 
in 1802. Another temporarily successful la^vyer, Jedediah Strong, 
who is mentioned elsewhere, also died in 1802. 

John Allen, wlio is also mentioned elsewhere, was born 1763 and 
died in Litchfield in 1812. He was a member of the Council and of 
the Supreme Court of Errors of the State and member of the Fifth 

Isaac Baldwin, who came to Litchfield from Milfoi'd, and mar- 
ried a daughter of Timothy Collins, was an active lawyer for many 
years prior to his death in 1805. He was County Clerk forty two 
years. Town Clerk thirty one years. Clerk of the Probate Court 
twenty nine years, not to speak of some ten terms in the General 
Assembly and other services. 

To this distinguished company, in 1772, came Ta])ping Eeeve. 
He was the son of the minister at Brookhaven, Long Island, where 
he was born in 1744. He was a graduate of Princeton, 1763. 

He not only proved himself a successful lawyer from the first, 
but a striking personality. The Avord striking is perhaps mislead- 
ing, for there was nothing obtrusive about him. And yet it is coi'- 
rect, for he won affection, interest, sympathy, without effort. Men 
liked to be with him. Years later, Lyman Beech er exclaimed of him, 
(Autobiogra])liy, p. 216) : "Oh Judge Eeeve, what a man he was! 
When I get to heaven, and meet him there, what a shaking of hands 
there will be!" 

"The rules of court, at this time, in Connecticut, required as a 
condition of admission to the bar, tAvo years of study Avith a practic- 
ing lawyer in the state, by those Avho had been graduated at a col- 
lege, and three years by all Avho had not been". (Simeon E. BaldAvin, 
Great American LaAvyers, James Gould, 1909, p. 460). 

It is not to be wondered at that many young men Avere coming 
to Litchfield, and to all parts of Litchfield County, for these two 

Tapping Reeve 

From an Engraving by George Catlin 


years of study. So, in 1780, we find Noah Webster, of the Dictionary, 
coming to Litchfield to study with Jedediah Strong. 

Another young law student was Ephraim Kirby, who studied 
his two years with Reynold Marvin, and afterwards married the 
daughter of his teacher. Kirby was born in Litchfield in 1756. He 
was a man active in body and in intellect. After being admitted to 
the bar, he took a prominent part in local political affairs. He was a 
democrat. He represented Litchfield a dozen or more times in the 
General Assembly. On the election of Jefferson to the Presidency 
in 1801, "Col. Kirby was appointed supervisor of the national revenue 
for the State of Connecticut. Upon the acquisition of Louisiana 
the President appointed him a Judge of the then newly organized 
territory of New Orleans. Having accepted the station, he set out 
for New Orleans, but died on the way, aged 47 years". (Bench and 
Bar, p. 170). He is remembered especially as the compiler of the 
first Law Eeports, which he published under the title: Reports of 
Cases Adjudged in the Superior Court, from the year 1785 to 1788. 
The manuscript of this epoch making work is now in the Litchfield 
Historical Society. It was the model on which the states of Con- 
necticut and Massachusetts based the Eeports they published a year 
or two later, which have since then been universally followed. 

The majority of young law students, more and more, drifted to 
Tapping Reeve; and then they stopped drifting, and came long dis- 
tances purely to be under his influence. 

Among the first was Aaron Burr, his own brother-in-law, whose 
sister Sally Burr he had married before coming to Litchfield. She 
was the daughter of President Burr of Princeton, where Tapping 
Reeve had first met her. Aaron Burr studied in the Reeve office till 
the War broke out, and he was a frequent visitor in Litchfield after- 
wards. Here he met Mrs. Theodosia Prevost, whom he afterwards 

The most distinguished of these early students was Uriah Tracy, 
who represented Connecticut in the United States Senate from 1800 
until his death in 1807. He was born in Norwich, 1754, and gradu- 
ated at Yale in 1778. He studied with Tapping Reeve in 1780 and 
was admitted to the bar the next year. He was a Major-General 
in the War, and Representative in Congress from 1793 until he 
became Senator. When in Litchfield he lived on North Street, in 
the house built 1760 by Col. Elisha Sheldon, from whom he bought 
it. At his death it passed to his son-in-law, Judge Gould, from 
whose estate, in turn, it was bought by Professor James M. Hoppin; 
it is now owned by John P. Elton. 

Uriah Tracy, such is fame, is now remembered chiefly for a 
couple of repartees. "Few have had more wit, or used it more 
pleasantly", said James Morris of him ; but others describe the sting 
of his witticisms as dreaded by his adversaries. 

Much discussion has been aroused concerning one of his sayings 
and to whom it referred. I quote it from Mansfield, (p. 124) : "He 
was standing on the steps of the Capitol, which you know looks 


down Peiuisylvania avenue, when a drove of mules was coming up. 
Randolph, who was standing by him, said: 'There, Tracy, are some 
of your constituents'. "Yes, sir', said Tracy, 'they are going to 
Virginia, to keep school'." Mellowed by a hundred and twenty 
years, such a story becomes a classic; and it is entirely proper to 
debate whether the retort Avas at the expense of Randolph, or of 
Rhett of South Carolina, or of the Representative from North Caro- 
lina, or from Georgia. Each has its advocates. Of the seventeen 
times the story has been noticed in the preparation of this book, wo 
find the advantage inclines slightly to Virginia, with North Caro- 
lina a close second. 

As the years passed and the number of his students increased, 
the change^in Tapping Reeve's method of instruction became more 
marked; but it would be difficult to say exactly at what moment 
the Law School as such began. The date usually accepted is 1784; 
though, in his Funeral Sermon, p. 10., Lyman Beecher says that he 
commenced regular lectures in 1782. The date is not important; 
the important thing is the revolution in the method of instruction. 
Governor Baldwin styles these lectures as constituting not only the 
first Law School in America ; but he adds, p. 455, that no other then 
existed "In any English speaking country, for the Inns of Court 
had long ceased to be seats of serious instruction and the 'schools' 
of Oxford and Cambridge were little but a form". 

The LaAv School made an immediate appeal. The Revolution 
left many young men in search of work, as every large war has 
done. Trade was at a low ebb, and many turned to the law which 
was already overstocked. The Law School made it easier and 
cheaper to get an excellent legal education than could be obtained 
elsewhere, and the students came not only from all parts of Con- 
necticut, but in due course from every state in the Union. The 
reputation of the students who went out from the School and the 
personality of Tapping Reeve added to the magnetic power of the 
institution. Connecticut itself felt the effect of the School the 
most; the proportion of lawyers grew out of keeping with their 
numbers in other states, and several of our best men began to go 
into other parts of the country. Governor Baldwin says that in 
1798 there were 120 practising lawyers in the State, and adds the 
amusing opinion of Jedediah Morse, (American Universal Geogra- 
phy, 1796, Vol. I., pp. 453, 463), that, although these all found 
employment and support, "it was really because the people of the 
state were of a peculiarly litigious spirit, and 'remarkably fond of 
having all their disputes, even those of the most trivial kind, settled 
according to law'." 

In this year 1798, the Law School entered on its second and 
more important phase. Heretofore Tapping Reeve had conducted 
the school entirely alone. He held it in the little building adjoin- 
ing his South Street house, now owned by Lewis B. Woodruff. This 
little building is now the property of the Litchfield Historical Society, 
which acquired it in 1911, through the public spirit of Dwight C. 


Kilbourn and Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel, after it had been removed 
from its first site to West Street and was again in danger of being 
taken down. In the years prior to 1798, Reeve had taught upwards 
of 200 men, but his ways were so informal that he kept no catalog 
of their names. In that year he was appointed a Judge of the 
Superior Court, becoming the Chief Justice of the State in 1814. It 
was now necessary for Judge Reeve to have an assistant, and he 
chose James Gould, who had graduated in his School the same 

James Gould was born in Branford, December 5, 1770. He was 
graduated at Yale in 1791, and delivered the Latin Salutatory Ora- 
tion, the highest scholastic honor for the graduating class. From 
1798 to 1816 he gave his entire energies to the Law School, only prac- 
tising as a lawyer in the holiday intervals. In May 1816, he was 
appointed Judge of the Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors. 
In 1820, after he withdrew from the bench, he received the degree of 
doctor of laAvs from Yale. 

HoUister gives us the following account of him, (History of 
Connecticut, Vol. II., pp. 602-3) : "Judge Gould was one of the 
most finished and competent writers who have ever treated upon 
any branch of the English jurisprudence. His great Avork upon 
Pleading is a model of its kind. . . . He had at first contemplated 
writing a much more extended treatise, but while he was preparing 
the materials for it, the appearance of Chitty's work on the same 
title induced him to change his plan. As it was presented to the 
public, Gould's Pleading is, therefore, only an epitome of the original 
design, but for clearness, logical precision, and terseness of style, it 
does not suffer in comparison with the Commentaries upon the laws 
of England. 

"As a lawyer. Judge Gould was one of the most profoundly 
philosophical of that age. He carried into the forum the same 
classical finish which aj^pears upon every page of his writing. It 
would have been as impossible for him to speak an ungrammatical 
sentence, use an inelegant expression, or make an awkward gesture, 
in addressing an argument to the jury, as it would have been for him 
to attempt to expound the law when he was himself ignorant of it, 
to speak disrespectfully to the judge upon the bench, or to exhibit 
any want of courtesy to the humblest member of the profession who 
might happen to appear as his opponent. His arguments also, like 
his writings, were expressed in the most brief forms in Avhich a 
speaker can convey his thoughts to his hearers. He seldom spoke 
longer than half an hour, and the most complex and important cases 
never exceeded an hour". 

The greatest possible difference of character existed between the 
two Judges. To quote Baldwin again, p. 463: "It was feeling that 
predominated and ruled the character in Reeve, and intellect in 
Gould. Their students respected both, but they loved only one. 
The commonplace book of a girl who was at Miss Pierce's School in 
1811 shows entries by each. Judge Reeve describes her affectionately 


as 'my Lucy', quotes a verse from a hymn, and urges upon lier atten- 
tion the subject of personal religion. Judge Gould gives a few lines 
from Pope's Iliad". And again, p. 468469: "Judge Eeeve's method 
of instruction was based on written notes, from which he lectured 
with frequent off-hand explanations and illustrations of a colloquial 
nature. His thoughts often outran his utterance, and he would 
leave a sentence unfinished to begin another, as if distracted by 
what one of his students described as a 'huddle of ideas'. Judge 
Gould clung closely to his manuscript, from which he read so slowly 
that the students, each seated at a separate desk, could write down 
everything that was uttered. This each was expected to do then 
and there. The notes thus taken, and also those made at Judge 
Eeeve's lectures, the students afterwards copied with care into 
large folio volumes. They filled in all five of these, the pages of 
which measured about nine and a half by seven and a half inches. 
The notes of those which Judge Eeeve had been accustomed to give 
before the accession of Mr. Gould could be contained in one or more 
volumes of much smaller size". 

The achievement of the School is perhaps best seen by compar- 
ing the course of study offered after 1798 with the reading usual for 
students in private offices prior to 1784. In those days they "studied 
some forms and little substance, and had within their reach but few 
volmnes beyond Coke's and Wood's Institutes, Blackstone's Com- 
mentaries, Bacon's Abridgment, and Jacob's LaAv Dictionary; and, 
when admitted to the bar, were better instructed in pleas in abate- 
ment, than in the weightier matters of the Law". (Church's Cen- 
tennial Address, p. 50). 

Theodore D. Woolsey, in his Historical Discourse at the Semi- 
centennial of the Yale Law School, p. 8, gives the following list of 
the subjects studied at the Litchfield Law School, together with the 
number of pages of note-books occupied by each: 

Lectures by Reeve : Master and Servant, 44 pages ; Baron and Feme, 92 ; 
Parent and Child, 48; Guardian and Ward, 10; Executors and Adminis- 
trators, 69 ; Sheriffs and Gaolers, 41 ; Evidence, 72 ; Bills of Exchange and 
Promissory Notes, 120; Insurance, 122; Charter Parties, 5; Joint Owners of 
Vessels, 2; Partnership, 7; Factors, 6; Stoppage in Transitu, 2; Sailors' Con- 
tracts, 2; Powers of Chancery, 51; Criminal Law, 64; Estates upon Condi- 
tion, 83 ; Modes of Acquiring Estates, 23 ; Devises, 57. 

Lectures by Gould: Municipal Law, 50; Contracts, 113; Fraudulent Con- 
veyances, 33 ; Bailments, 55 ; Inns and Innkeepers, 9 ; Covenant-Broken, 42 ; 
Action of Debt, 9 ; Action of Detinue, 2 ; Action of Account, 9 ; Notice and 
Request, 3; Assumpsit, 31; Defences to Actions, 72; Private Wrongs, 74; 
System of Pleading, 232 ; New Trials, 27 ; Bills of Exceptions, 4 ; Writs of 
Error, 18; Practice in Connecticut, 68; Real Property, 115; Title by Deed, 40; 
Actions for Injuries to Things Real 46. 

Charles G. Loring, in 1851, at a meeting of the Story Association 
of the Harvard Law School, gave a picture of the Litchfield School 
which is well worth quotation: 

Judge James Gould 


"It will, probably, be news to . . . many . . . here, that thirty 
eight years ago, which to many here seems a remote antiquity, there 
existed an extensive Law School in the State of Connecticut, at 
which more than sixty students from all parts of the country were 
assembled. ... I joined it in 1813, when it was at its zenith, and 
the only prominent establishment of the kind in the land. The recol- 
lection is as fresh as the events of yesterday, of our passing along 
the broad shaded streets of one of the most beautiful of the villages 
of New England, with our ink-stands in our hands, and our port- 
folios under our arms, to the lecture room of Judge Gould, the last 
of the Eomans, of Common Law lawyers; the imj)ersonation of its 
genius and spirit. It was, indeed, in his eyes, the perfection of 
human reason, b}^ which he measured every principle and rule of 
action, and almost every sentiment. Why, Sir, his highest visions 
of poetry seemed to be in the refinement of special pleading; and to 
him, a non sequitur in logic was an oifense deserving, at the least, 
fine and imprisomnent, — and a rej)etition of it, transportation for life. 
He was an admirable English scholar, every word was pure English, 
undefiled, and every sentence fell from his lips perfectly finished, 
as clear, transparent and penetrating as light, and every rule and 
principle as exactly defined and limited as the outline of a building 
against the sky. From him we obtained clear, Avell defined, and 
accurate knowledge of the Common Law, and learned that allegiance 
to it was the chief duty of man, and the power of enforcing it upon 
others his highest attainment. From his lecture room we passed 
to that of the venerable Judge Eeeve, shaded by an aged elm, fit 
emblem of himself. He was, indeed, a most venerable man, in 
character and appearance, his thick, grey hair parted and falling in 
profusion upon his shoulders, his voice only a loud whisper, but 
distinctly heard by his earnestlj^ attentive pupils. He, too, was 
full of legal learning, but invested the law with all the genial enthu- 
siasm and generous feelings and noble sentiments of a large heart . . . 
and discanted to us with glowing eloquence upon the sacredness and 
majesty of laAv. He was distinguished by that appreciation of the 
gentler sex Avhich never fails to mark the true man and his teach- 
ings of the laAv in reference to their rights and to the douiestic 
relations, had great influence in elevating and refining the senti- 
ments of the young men who were privileged to hear him. As 
illustrative of his feelings and manner upon this subject, allow me 
to give a specimen. He was discussing the legal relations of mar- 
ried women; he never called them however by so inexpressible a 
name, but always spoke of them as, 'the better half of mankind', or 
in some equally just manner. When he came to the axiom that 
'a married woman has no Avill of her own', this, he said, Avas a 
maxim of great theoretical importance for the preservation of the 
sex against the undue influence or coercion of the husband; but, 
although it was an inflexible maxim, in theory, experience taught 
us that practically it was found that they sometimes had wills of 
their own, most happily for us. We left his lecture room the very 


knight-errants of the law, burning to be the defenders of the right 
and the avengers of the wrong; and he is no true son of the Litch- 
field School who has ever forgotten that lesson". 

Judge Eeeve's efforts to improve the rights of married women 
bore fruit, but not till many years later, in the work happily of 
another Litchfield man, Chief Justice Charles B. Andrews, through 
whose efforts was enacted in 1877 the statute that in our state women 
are not responsible to their husbands in the transfer of property, 
either real or personal. 

The fruits of the Litchfield Law School are found of course in 
the records of its students. And we have only to turn to the 
list of names in the Appendix, to find what these fruits have been. 
The list is very incomplete. In the first place it includes none of 
the students of the first fourteen classes; then, although all later 
names were preserved, the achievements of the various graduates 
were known only in a fortuitous way. There was no organization 
of alumni to keep track of what the men were doing. A catalog 
was printed in 1828, and a supplement in 1831. In 1849, the catalog 
was reprinted, with the addition of the ranks and positions attained 
by certain graduates, compiled by George C. Woodruff. Later manu- 
script notes were made by Lewis B. Woodruff", and still later find- 
ings are given in Kilbourn's Bench and Bar. Collating all these 
sources, we find that there Avere 1,015 students in all, of whom 805 were 
at the School after 1798, whose names appear in the catalogs. The 
men of these later classes achieved in the aggregate the positions of 
distinction which follow : Vice-Presidents, 1 ; Members of the Cabinet. 
5; U. S. Senators, 17; Members of Congress, 53; Diplomats, 5; Asso- 
ciate Justices U. S. Supreme Court, 3; Judges U. S. District or Cir- 
cuit Courts, 4; Chief Justices of States, 7; Associate Judges of the 
Superior Courts of States, 27; Other State Judges, 15; Governors of 
States, 10; Lieutenant-Governors of States, 7; State Secretaries of 
State, 2; State's Attorneys, 3; State Chancellors, 3; Vice-Chancel- 
lors, 1; Speakers of the House of Kepresentatives of States, 4; Col- 
lege Presidents, 3. Their names and a few others will be given in 
the Appendix. 

Many other graduates doubtless achieved definite work, which 
cannot be recorded by a title. Prominent among these we may men- 
tion the picturesque figure of Junius Smith, who was born in Plymouth 
in 1780 and graduated at the Litchfield Law School in 1803. "In 
1832, he interested himself in the cause of trans-Atlantic steam 
navigation, convinced that the ocean could be crossed by steam. He 
was met Avith incredulity. He undertook to charter a vessel for 
an experiment but had no success. He tried to organize a company 
but men of science declared that no steamer could survive the terrible 
storms that sweep the Atlantic. Not a single share of stock was 
taken. Notwithstanding this, he persevered. His indomitable will 
conquered, and in 1838, the Sirius, a steamer of 700 tons, sailed from 
Cork on the 4th day of April, and reached New York on the 23rd, 


the first vessel that steamed her way across the Atlantic". (Atwater: 
History of Plymouth, 1895, p. 179)! 

Horace Maim was born in 1796, in Franklin, Mass. He was in 
the class of 1822 at the Law School. His career as an educator 
diates from 1837, from Avhich time to his death, he worked for the 
cause of education with constant intensity, holding conventions, 
lecturing, introducing many reforms, planning and inaugurating 
the Massachusetts Normal School System. He virtually revolu- 
tionized the common school system of the country. He died in 1859. 

The two most distinguished of all the graduates were both 
Southerners, John C. Calhoun and John M. Clayton, both of whom 
became Secretarj'^ of State, and the former, Vice-President of the 
United States. It is always a source of speculation how far the 
later successes of such men can be traced to the stimulating influ- 
ence of Litchfield Hill in their most impressionable years. We can 
at least join with Morris W. Seymour, (Address at the Presentation 
of the Litchfield Law School, 1911, p. 25), in the fervent prayer that 
the seeds of secession were not sowed in young Calhoun by the views 
held by many men in Connecticut at the time, 1804-5, when he was 
in Litchfield. That this doctrine was undoubtedly widely discussed 
here appears from Governor Baldwin's essay, p. 485 : "In 1829, Judge 
Gould took an active part in a controversy that followed the publi- 
cation in 1827 of Jefi'erson's letter to Governor Giles, stating that 
John Quincy Adams had told him that designs of disunion were 
meditated in New England early in the century. Uriah Tracy had 
been mentioned as one of those Avho were engaged in them. Judge 
Gould wrote to those of the leaders among Connecticut Federalists of 
the Jeffersonian era who still survived, for their recollections as to 
this matter, and published them with caustic comments on the 
assertions of President Adams in a lengthy communication to a 
New York newspaper. (Henry Adams, New England Federalism, 
pp. 93-106). It was a vigorous and loyal effort to vindicate the 
memory of his father-in-law; but other letters from other sources of 
earlier date, that have since come to light, seem to show that Adams 
was substantially in the right. While there was no definite plan 
of secession, the right to secede was certainly asserted, and the 
policy of a resort to it advocated in 1804 by not a few Federalist 
leaders, and among others by Judge Reeve, in confidential corres- 
pondence with Tracy". (H. C. Lodge, Life and Letters of George 
Cabot, p. 442). 

Among the Litchfield men, who received their training at the 
Law School, were Aaron Burr Reeve, 1802, the promising young 
«on of Tapping Reeve, who died prematurely in 1809 ; Seth P. Beers, 
1803; Oliver S. Wolcott, 1818, the son of Oliver Wolcott Jr.; Origen 
S. Seymour, 1824; George C. Woodruff, 1825; Lewis B. Woodruff', 

Daniel Sheldon, the son of Dr. Sheldon, Avas in the first Gould 
class, 1798. He was afterwards Secretary to Albert Gallatin in 
Paris, when the latter was Minister there. An interesting account 


of liis experiences is given in Mrs. Edgar B. VanWinkle's paper, A 
Litchfield Diplomat, read before the Litchfield Historical Society in 

The Law School was never incorporated. "Judge Eeeve's share 
in the work of the Law School was not large after he left the bench, 
and he withdrew from it altogether in 1820, although Judge Gould 
continued to pay him a third of the net receipts from tuition, annu- 
ally. . . . His place was supplied after a few years by bringing in 
Jabez W. Huntington, a member of the Litchfield Bar and one of the 
alumni of the school, who continued his connection with it as long 
as it was maintained, then becoming an Associate Justice of the 
Supreme Court of Errors of Connecticut, and subsequently a Senator 
of the United States. 

"At this period the regular course of study at the school was 
completed in fourteen months, including two vacations of four weeks 
each, one in the spring and one in the autumn, $100 was charged 
for the first year of tuition and $60 for a second, which, of course, 
if pursued to the end, consisted largely of the repetition of lectures 
previously heard. Few students ever remained more than eighteen 
months. After the retirement of Judge Eeeve the courses were 
re-arranged under forty-eight titles. Judge Gould occupied from 
an hour and a quarter to an hour and a half in lecturing daily. 
Eeported cases were still comparatively few, and he aimed to notice 
all that were of importance decided in the English Courts. The 
students were expected to examine some of these for themselves dur- 
ing the remainder of the day, and to accompany each lecture course 
by parallel readings in standard text-books. One or two moot 
courts were held weekly. Judge Gould presiding. The briefs of 
counsel were carefully prepared together with the opinion of the 
court. There was an attorney-general elected by the students. . . . 
It was, indeed, often no easy matter for an instructor in such a 
school to keep so far ahead of his pupils that they would always be 
forced to acknowledge his superior authority. Many of them were 
practicing lawyers who came there for a year to round out their 
professional education. . . . 

"From 182(5 the Law School began to decline quite rapidly. The 
publication of Swift's Digest and Kent's Commentaries made its 
whole theory of instruction antiquated. The Harvard Law School 
had been founded in 1817, and that of Yale in 1824. No unendowed 
private institution can long maintain a competition with one sup- 
ported by permanent funds and forming part of an established uni- 
versity. But six students were in the entering class of 1833. Judge 
Gould's health had been slowly breaking down for years, and the 
time had evidently come to close the school. He had been able to 
maintain it so long only by the aid of a son who sometimes read his 
lectures to the class, and of a young la\N^er of Litchfield, whose 
assistance in addition to that of Mr. Huntington, was occasionally 
invoked, Origen Storrs Seymour, afterwards Chief Justice of Con- 
necticut". (Baldwin, pp. 481-487). 




In its later years, the Scliool was conducted in a second little 
building, adjoining tlie Gould house on ^orth Street, just as the 
Eeeve Law School adjoined the house on South Street. During the 
intermediate period, when the school was at its height, both build- 
ings were in use. The Gould Law School was later carried out a 
mile or more on the Bantam Eoad, where it was converted into a 
tenement at the sharp turn in the roadway. 

There is something very distinctive about these two small build- 
ings, which have contributed so unpretentiously and so successfully 
to the legal history of our country. They fitted into the simple direct 
life of Litchfield, and served to convey to the young men who studied 
in them something of this simple, direct manner. And beyond all, 
was the kindly, paternal image of Judge Eeeve himself, the real 
soul of the School, though in many respects Judge Gould was the 
more important teacher. So generous, so chivalrous, his memory 
will be treasured when some greater names are forgotten. An anec- 
dote told by Catherine Beecher sums up in a sentence his respect for 
and devotion to all Avomankind, namely, "that he never saw a little 
girl but he wished to kiss her, for if she was not good she would be ; 
and he never saw a little boy but he wished to Avhip him, for if he 
was not bad he would be". (Autobiography, Vol. I., p. 224) . 



"'It was about the middle of June, 1823", we read in the Personal 
Memories of E. D. Mansfield, p, 122, "that my father and I drove up 
to Grove Catlin's tavern, on the Green, of Litchfield, Connecticut. 
It was one of the most beautiful days of the year, and just before 
sunset. The scene was most striking. Litchfield is on a hill, 
about one thousand feet above the sea, and having fine scenery on 
every side. On the west rises Mount Tom, a dark, frowning peak; 
in the south-west. Bantam Lake, on whose shores I have often 
walked and ridden. In the north and east other ridges rolled away 
in the distance, and so, from Litchfield Hill, there is a varied and 
delightful prospect. One of the first objects which struck my eyes 
was interesting and picturesque. This was a long procession of 
school girls, coming down North Street, walking under the lofty 
elms, and moving to the music of a flute and flageolet. The girl8 
were gaily dressed and evidently enjoying their evening parade, in 
this most balmy season of the year. It was the school of Miss 
Sally Pierce, whom I have mentioned before, as one of the earliest 
and best of the pioneers in American female education. That scene 
has never faded from my memory. The beauty of nature, the love- 
liness of the season, the sudden appearance of this school of girls, 
all united to strike and charm the mind of a young man, who, how- 
ever varied his experience, had never beheld a scene like that". 

Sarah Pierce was born in Litchfield on June 26, 1767, and died 
on January 19, 1852. Her father was John Pierce, of Litchfield, 
by trade a potter. He was twice married, and had a large family. 
The names of eleven of his children are preserved, but probably 
there were several others. Sarah was the youngest child by his 
first wife, Mary Patterson. Upon the death of the father in 1783, 
at the early age of 53, the care of this large family devolved in great 
measure on the eldest son, John Pierce. He was born in 1752, and 
at the time of his father's death was contemplating marriage with 
a Miss Ann Bard. This naturally made him anxious that some 
others at least of the family should become more self-supporting than 
their ii»mediate prospects in Litchfield made possible. He there- 
fore had the very happy thought that Sarah should become a teacher. 
She had a mind naturally quick, but no special aptitude for teach- 
ing had yet been recognized in her. It was a random shot appar- 
ently, but a most important one, not only for the family, but for 
Litchfield and the whole history of the higher education of women. 
•Tohn Pierce -Jr. was evidently a man of vision, developed, as were 


so iaany, by the imperative needs of the Revolution. He had been 
thirteen years in the paymaster's department of the army, a friend 
of Washington, and an able officer, leaving the army with the rank 
of Colonel. He recognized at once that however apt his sister might 
become at her books, she would require a dignity and presence, 
before she could become a successful teacher of girls from the larger 
cities, such as she herself could hardly hope to learn in the Litch- 
field of 1784. Twenty years later it would have been a very differ- 
ent story. He therefore sent her to New York in April 1784, and his 
instructions to her are most interesting: "The short time you have 
and the many things you have to learn, occasions me to wish you 
would employ every moment for the purpose, I hope you will not 
miss a single dancing school, and that you will take lessons from 
Capt. Turner at other times, pray get him and Katy your friend, to 
instruct you in everything in walking standing and sitting, all the 
movements of which tho' they appear in a polite person natural, are 
the effects of art, while country girls never attend to and which 
you had best take the utmost pains, or you will never appear 
natural & easy in. I am somewhat fearful that your old habits 
at your age can not be so thoroughly removed, as to give place to a 
natural careless genteel air, and which totally hides all the art of it. 
The Books I left with you I wish you not to read much in town, I 
want you to study the fashions, the art of pleasing to advantage and 
for this purpose to spare no necessary expense, and if you do not 
appear as genteel as any of the girls it will be your own fault, you 
must however pay a great regard to economy & always remember 
that every Dollar takes so much from my future prospects, on 
which you know that not only yours but mine and all our families 
happiness depends". (Vanderpoel, p. 347). 

Col. Pierce was married in 1786 and died in 1788. The cares 
of the family through these years fell on Sarah and her sisters, 
and the plans for teaching could not be put into action until 1792. 
She continued her studies at odd times through this period, never 
for a moment forgetting what her life work was to be; and, when 
she took her first pupil in the dining room of her house, she was 
fully equipped, both mentally and as her brother would have said 
socially, to guide her school from this humble beginning to the full 
heights of its future importance. 

Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel, the great-grand-daughter of Col. Tall- 
madge and one of Litchfield's artists, has written the story of Miss 
Pierce's Academy in a fascinating volume: The Chronicles of a Pio- 
neer School, edited by Elizabeth C. Barney Buel, 1903. Her book is 
quoted from throughout the present work, but this chapter on the 
School can be but a very incomplete abridgement of parts of it. The 
Chronicles should be read by every person interested in Litchfield, 
MS the diaries and letters and other papers reprinted therein open 
up a picture of the life of the whole town in those days of the Golden 
Age which no chapters like ours can in any manner indicate. 


Tin.) School passed tlirougli three x)liases. First it was con- 
ducted at the ''old red house" built about 1750 by Zebulou Bissell 
near the site of the })resei)t CoHgrei;;ttioual Parsonage. This was 
the Pierce homestead at this tiiue. and the little diiiitig room served 
comfortably as a scliooi room until the number of pupils begjvn 
very niucli to increase. 

By 1798 (Vanderpoel, p. 19) the school had become of sufficient 
importance to interest the prominent men of the town to build 
a suitable building for Miss Pierce. It was then dignified by the 
name of the Female Academy. The subscription list was headed 
by Tapping Keeve, who contributed $40. 26 other names appear 
on the list, the total subscribed being $385. The Academy stood 
inmiediately below the old house. In 1803, Miss Pierce built her- 
self a new house, still further south, the house and the Academy 
occupying the present Underwood grounds. The old house was 
then occupied by Miss Pierce's sister Susan, who had married James 
Brace, and her family. The second and most successful period of 
the school was conducted in this second building, the first Academy. 

In 1827, it was decided to increase the scope of the school by 
the erection of a new Academy, with the incorporation of the insti- 
tution under a board of Trustees. A company was formed, known 
as the Litchfield Female Academy, of which Frederick Wolcott was 
the President, with a capital not to exceed $7,500. Of this 40 
shares of $15. each were given to Miss Pierce in exchange for the 
land and previous building of the Academy. A new subscription 
was taken up, and 67 shares of $15. each were subscribed for. Ill 
due course the new Academy was constructed. After the close of 
the school, sometime after 1855, it was removed to the Beecher Lot, 
corner of North and Prospect Streets, where it was occupied for 
some j^ears by the boys' scliool of the late Rev. James Richards D. D., 
known as the Elm Park Collegiate Institute. Henrj^ R. Jones of 
Brooklyn converted it into the present residence of his family after 
he purchased the corner about 1882. The Beecher House adjoining 
was bought by Dr. Henry W. Buel about 1872 and removed to 
Spring Hill, where it now forms a part of the group of buildings. 

The Pierce-Brace house was torn down to be rei)laced by the 
present Parsonage, and the Pierce house was torn down about 1896 
to make way for the present Underwood house. Thus all traces 
of the Academy are now scattered. 

Corresponding to this development of the outward and visible 
character of the Academy, there was a steady development in its 
educational i^olicy. 

At first the number of pupils was small, the studies very simple. 
From the start we find that Miss Pierce had a high idea of what 
girls should be taught. Her ideal was to train them in all the same 
studies that a boy would be taught. She began Geography and 
History from the first, both then innovations in girls' schools. At 
times the lessons were perhaps above the heads of the children. In 


Miss Sally Pierce 

The Litchfield Academy, 1827 


the diary of an early pupil, Julia Cowles, aged eleven, we read: 
"June 30, 1797. Went to school, told History, sewed some. Miss 
Sally says that I have been a pretty good girl this week. I have 
not been offended this week. I have helped Aunt Lewis almost 
every day this week. . . . July 6. I do not recollect any History 
that we read to day only that there was one Punic war. . . . July 13. 
I do not recollect any of the History read to day only that Hanibal 
died. . . . July 21. Attended school, read Historj^ Danced last 
evening, enjoyed the intended pleasure. . . . July 26. Attended 
school forenoon painted. I dont know a word of the Histor5\ 
P. 31. I stayed at home". 

Miss Pierce's sympathy with her pupils was proverbial. Per- 
Imps it was stimulated by the death of one of these, little Nancy 
Cutler, during the second year of the school, August 1793. Miss 
Pierce took the little child back to her mother, who afterwards 
Avrote: "September 3, 1793: The amiable Miss Pierce is going home. I 
fear I shall be still more lonely, but I will try to be cheerful!. I 
esteem Sally for her goodness of heart. She is a good Girl and 
I think I shall not forget her kindness to me or the attention she 
paid that much loved child". (Vanderpoel, p. 9). 

Miss Pierce was twenty five years old when she began the school. 
She never lost her sympathj^ with her girls. She never asked them 
to do any work Avhich she was not ready to share, nor to undertake 
any exercise which she was not ready to join in, nor to have any 
amusements which she did not lead. When she found that the 
Histories in vogue Avere dull to her girls, she set out and wrote 
others herself. Her Histories, dating from 1811 to 1818, were com- 
piled in the form of questions and answers, which she claimed to 
be the form most easily imbibed by children, and were intended "to 
intermix moral with historical instruction". 

This first period of the school lasted till the building of the 
first Acad'emy, in 1798. It was the tentative period, the period of 

The second period Avas one of fruition. Pupils were coming in 
large numbers. We hear of a hundred and thirty in one year, while 
the total for the whole forty years of the school was afterwards 
estimated by Miss Pierce's nephew, John Pierce Brace, as having 
been three thousand.. The assistance of her sisters was no longer 
sufficient for the carrying on of the school, and different teachers 
were called in to help. The chief of these was the nephcAV just 
mentioned, John Pierce Brace, who lived next door. To prepare 
him to be her assistant. Miss Pierce had sent him to college at 
Williams. He appears to have been a born educator like his 
aunt, and to have held as she did that women deserved the same 
standards of education as men. The program of the school now 
became greatly enlarged. The studies of chemistry, astronomy and 
botany were added to those of history and geography. The fine 
accomplishments of music, dancing, singing and embroidery, of draw- 


ing and painting were retained. John Brace was an enthusiast in 
the natural sciences and Harriet Beecher Stowe used to refer to 
his keeping up "a constant conversation on the subject". 

There are a number of amusing references to his passion for 
these subjects. In her diary, for June 2, 1822, Mary L. Wilbor 
wrote, (Vanderpoel, p. 236) : "Mr. Brace had all his bugs to school 
this P. M. He has a great variety, two were from China, which were 
very handsome, almost all the rest were of Litchfield descent, and he 
can trace their pedigree as far back as when Noah entered the 
ark". Another pupil, Caroline Chester, wrote in 1816, (Vander- 
poel, p. 152) : "I went to Mr. Brace's, where I spent the evening 
most agreeably and saw a plenty of butterflies and spiders". The 
cult of natural science invaded the law school, possibly by way of 
furnishing another subject of common interest. That rollicking 
diarist and law-student, George Younglove Cutler wrote October 24, 
1820, (Vanderpoel, p. 202) : "A mineralogical compliment from Dr. 
A. S. M. in return for a box of stones sent him — which I collected 
from the neighboring stone walls, etc., 'horizontalizing them' to use 
his expression, much to the disadvantage of the agricultural inter- 
ests in this part of the country". 

The course of study at this time, 1821, has been preserved in 
the papers of Miss Sarah Kingsbury, (Vanderpoel, p. 233) : "Morses 
Geography, Websters Elements, English Grammar, Miss Pierces 
History, Arithmetic through Interest, Blair's Lectures, Modem 
Europe, Eamsey's American Kevolution, Natural Philosophy, 
Chemistry, Paley's Moral Philosophy, Hedge's Logic and Addision 
on Taste". 

In this second period, the Academy was the leader in the educa- 
tion of women throughout the country. The third period, after the 
construction of the enlarged building, was not so fortunate. Misa 
Pierce, in 1827, was sixty years old, and though she retained her 
interest and much of her vitality, could not put into the work all 
her earlier energy; and John Pierce Brace, in the winter of 1831-32, 
was offered and accepted the position of principal in the Female 
Seminary at Hartford. He had been the assistant of Miss Pierce 
for eighteen years, becoming more and more a dominant factor in 
the work, and his departure marked the beginning of the end. In 
1833 Miss Pierce asked to resign, and the Trustees appointed Miss 
Henrietta Jones as principal. She had been a pupil of the school, 
and a teacher for five years. In 1844, the Trustees made applica- 
tion to the Legislature for a change in the charter, so that the build- 
ings could be used for both sexes. In 1849 the use of the Academy 
was tendered to the Normal School. Finally in 1856 the Trustees 
wound up the corporation, selling the property back to Miss Mary 
I*ierce, a much younger half-sister of Miss Sally, who in the last 
years had assisted in the conduct of the school. Miss Sally Pierce 
lived almost to the close of the school, dying in 1852, at the ripe 
age of eighty five years. 


"She Avas small in person", wrote her friend, Gideon H. HoUis- 
ter, in his History of Connecticut, "of a cheerful, lively tempera- 
ment, a bright eye, and a face expressive of the most active benevol- 
ence. She was in the habit of practicing herself all the theories 
that she taught to her pupils, and, until physical infirmities con- 
fined her to her room, would take her accustomed walk in the face 
of the roughest March wind that ever blew across our hills". 

The life such a woman oifered to her pupils was certainly an 
inspiration. It meant doubtless much more than the mere teaching 
could; for although the scholarship was so high we do not hear 
that the graduates achieved any great reputations in science or in 
learning in their after lives. But they did achieve, many of them, 
very happy lives, the seeds of which are certainly to be traced to 
Litchfield. It is not enough to say that many of them became 
engaged to Law students, whom they afterwards married. What 
really counted was the influence of Miss Pierce, the influence of 
the Litchfield culture, the health of the climate, the habit of right 
thinking developed by the courses, and the cheerful life of the 

In the next chapter will be found an outline of their more formal 
amusements, but something should be said here of the everyday life. 
Few of the girls lived at Miss Pierce's house; the great majority 
of those who were not Litchfield girls boarded around. There were 
several fairly large boarding houses, like Aunt Bull's on Prospect 
Street, and nearly every house took one boarder or two. In many 
cases the scholars from Miss Pierce's and the students from the 
Law School boarded in the same house. 

Pleasant as the school life was, it was governed by very regu- 
lar rules, and it is a little surprising to us how strictly these were 
enforced. Probably this had much to do with everything running 
so smoothly. Here are some of the rules of 1825, (Vanderpoel, p. 

"You are expected to rise early, be dressed neatly and to exercise before 
breakfast. You are to retire to rest when the family in which you reside 
request you. You must consider it a breach of politeness to be requested 
a second time to rise in the morning or retire of an evening. 

"It is expected that you attend public worship every Sabbath, except 
some unavoidable circumstance preventi, which you will dare to present as a 
sufficient apology at the day of judgment. 

"Your deportment must be grave and decent while in the house of God; 
all light conduct in a place of worship is not only offensive to God but an 
indication of ill breeding; and highly displeasing both to the good and the 

"Every hour during the week must be fully occupied either in useful 
employments, or necessary recreation. Two hours must be faithfully 
devoted to close study each day, while out of school : and every hour in 
school must be fully occupied. The ladies where you board must mention 
if you do not study your two hours each day. 


"You must suppress all emotions of anger, fretfulness and discontent. 

"No young lady is allowed to attend any public ball, or sleigh party till 
they are more than i6 years old. 

"Speaking or moving once in school hours either with or without lib- 
erty will take off a part of the extra — unless they move to recite or prac- 
tice, or write at the tables — Speaking more than once will take off the whole 
extra and often give you a quarter of a miss. 

"You must not walk for pleasure after 9 o'clock in the evening. A 
reward will be given to those who do not waste any money, books, clothes, 
paper or quills, during the term. To those who have their studies per- 
formed at the proper time. To those who have not been peevish, homesick, or 
impolite. To those who always attend meeting or church. To those who 
never write carelessly". 

These eiglit rules were supplemented by fifteen others, so that 
conduct was well defined. The regulation about deportment in 
church brings to mind the Eeminiscences of Miss Esther H. Thomp- 
son, (Vanderpoel, p. 297), who tells about "the feuds between Miss 
Pierce's scholars and the farmers' daughters — more especially that 
peculiar class of young American girls who were 'living out' — the 
'help' — in village families. These girls, usually the most ambitious 
of their family, made more independent by self support, gaining 
influence in proportion to the polish acquired by intercourse with 
village people, easily dominated all of their set, and together were 
a strong band. The school girls were supercilious, the help aggres- 
sively arrogant — and both classes equall}'^ proud and uncomjiromis- 
ing. Many a battle was fought on Sunday as well as on week 
days. All around the gallery walls of the old church on the 
Green was a row of square pews fenced in with the conventional 
high lattice work, while in front were two rows of benches. Many 
of the young people of ithe congregation chose to sit there where 
they were more free from the restraining presence of their seniors. 
Sometimes one part of the gallery would be considered the special 
choice, sometimes another, but out girls and school girls would 
never freely mingle! . When one pew was monopolized by school 
girls for a noticeable length of time the out girls would come early 
some Sunday and pack the seats. Then Avould foUoAV pin pricking, 
pinching and punching through the lattice — and the incensed school 
girls would bide their time to preempt the out girls' places". 

There was a certain rivalry also between the out of town school 
girls and the Litchfield girls who did not attend the school. Timothy 
Pierce, one of the half-brothers of Miss Sally, wrote in 1800, (Van- 
derpoel, p. 378) : "School consisting of 15 only — now there are so 
few I hope that the native ladies of Litchfield may stand some 
chance for a part at least of the attention of Mr. Keeve's students". 

The rivalry was very friendly on the whole, and the Litchfield 
people were certainly very hospitable to the girls who came from 
other places. They were constantly invited out and appear to 
have reciprocated by being just as nice as they could be. The rule 
about being home at nine was sometimes a source of difficulty. On 

Lucy Sheldon 

From a Miniature by Anson Dickinson 

Miss Lucretia Deming 
From a Miniature by Anson Dickinson 


one occasion Margaret Hopkins, one of the pupils, went to spend the 
evening at Aunt Bull's. She was one of the few pupils who roomed 
at Miss Pierce's own house. A law student of the party put back 
the hands of the clock so that when one of the number took Margaret 
back to her house, it was quite shut up. After much knocking, 
Miss Pierce came to the door in night-cap and gown, candle in 
hand. (Vanderpoel, p. 289). On another occasion, Caroline Chester, 
whose acquaintance we have already made, and who was living at 
the house of Dr. Sheldon, was at a large party at the Wolcott's: 
"When the clock struck nine, the girl was carrying around the 
wine, and I too well knew if I was not at home, the family would 
be displeased. I spoke to the lady who sat next to me and said 
I must go, and she said it would be extremely improper in her 
opinion for me who was the youngest in the room to go first, because 
if I went, all would go. At about half past nine Miss Burr rose to go, 
and all the company followed her example. It was very cold and 
as I crossed the green, the wind blew and I thought, what can be 
keener? but I found when I reached home that a keener blast 
awaited me, a blast which will never no never be erased from my 
memory. I opened the door with a trembling hand, no one was in 
the room, but soon Dr. came. My heart throbbed violently, and 
he said — why are you home at this late hour? 1 told my excuse, 
he interrupted me by saying that it was but a poor excuse. . . . He 
concluded by saying that if I ever staid out again he certainly 
would lock the door if it was after nine. . . . and thus did I pay for 
my whistle". (Vanderpoel, p. 153). 

These stories are worth quoting, if only as a picture of Puritan 
traits, still surviving only 100 years ago. Something of the same 
character is found in the ejaculation of another pupil, Mary L. 
Wilbor, in her diary, 1822, "I went to the Post Office with Miss 
Averill but we did not go in, for it was very much crowded with 
gentlemen, I do not think it is quite proper for us to go to. the 
post-office so often but still continue going!" (Vanderpoel, p. 235). 

Dr. Daniel Sheldon, who was so strict with Caroline Chester, 
was by no means an exception. He was universally beloved as 
Good old Doctor Sheldon. "Dear old Dr. Sheldon", wrote Henry 
Ward Beecher, in Litchfield Eevisited, 1856, "We began to get well 
as soon as he came into the house; or if the evil spirit delayed a 
little, 'Cream-o'-tartar' with hot water poured upon it and sweetened, 
finished the work. He had learned long before the days of home- 
opathy, that a doctor's chief business is to keep parents from giving 
their children medicine". 

Of him, E. D. Mansfield Avrote: "When he had just graduated 
from a medical college, he had an attack on his lungs, and was sup- 
posed to be fast going into consumption, and was saved by what may 
be called heroic treatment. He went to Litchfield to practice medi- 
cine, which involved much riding on horseback, and he began taking 
opium, until he took incredible quantities. Nevertheless it cured 
him; and he recovered from the habit of taking opium as resolutely 


and bravely as he liad began it. He survived all danger of early 
death, and lived to be eighty four years of age, quietly and j^eace- 
fuUy declining, until he passed from this life as gently as the setting 
star. One of his sons was secretary of legation in France, and 
one was a very successful merchant in New York. I was indebted 
to him for a comforting assurance, when we students were charged 
with being uncommonly 'fast'. There were more than fifty law 
students boarding in Litchfield, many of them of wealthy families, 
and many of them from the South. Of course, there must be some 
amusement, and often the midnight air resounded with the songs 
of midnight rioters, and sometimes stories were circulated to the 
students' disadvantage. After hearing some remarks on the 'fast' 
students, I met Dr. Sheldon walking, and said to him: 

" 'Doctor, they say we are the worst students ever were in 
Litchfield'. 'Pooh! pooh!' said the doctor, 'they are not half so 
bad as they were in my day'. So I was comforted with the idea 
that we were not casting shame on those venerable Puritans, who 
had condescended to become our ancestors. Be this as it may, I 
greatly enjoyed those evening sleigh rides, and those country sup- 
pers, when we would ride off to Goshen, or Harwinton, or other 
village, and order our turkey and oysters, served up with pickles 
and cake, and then set Black Caesar to play jigs on a cracked fiddle. 
But the grand occasions was something beyond this, when we got 
sleighs and fine horses, and buffalo robes, and foot-stoves, and 
invited the belles of Litchfield, who never hesitated to go, and set 
off to the distant village to have a supper and dance. 'I seldom 
danced, and some of the girls did not, but there were always some 
who did, and we had jolly times". (Personal Memories, p. 135). 

The school girls came in for the evening rides, though the nine 
o'clock hour had to be carefully watched. Here is another extract 
from Caroline Chester under date January 1, 1816. It will be 
noticed that there was no full school holiday on New Year's day, as 
indeed there was none on Christmas at Miss Pierce's: "Went to 
school with a determination to improve all in my power, recited in 
History without a mistake, in the afternoon went to Mr. Bradley's 
tavern with Hannah Huntington, John and Mr. O. Wolcott, W. T. 
and Mary. Had a most delightful ride, returned with Hannah to 
tea, in the evening took a sleigh ride and returned home about nine. 
Had a great many wishes that I might have a Happy New Year". 
(Vanderpoel, p. 152). The two Wolcotts here mentioned were the 
two sons of Oliver Wolcott Jr. 

Another occassional event were the serenades. We quote again 
from Mary L. Wilbor, July 4, 1822: We were sweetly serenaded by 
B. and S. and L. as we suppose but we were so very unfortunatd 
as not to hear it. When Miss Mary told us of it this morning we 
were quite astonished that we could be so stupid as not to hear it. 
It must have been quite romantic, for I never saw a more delightful 
evening". Fortunately another opportunity came, the very night 


before her school career was over, August 29, 1822: ''In the night 
we were awoke by music which appeared to be very near us. We 
instantly arose and found it to be Mssrs. Loring Burgess and Sulli- 
van with flutes which were played with much skill and sweetness. 
But all the pleasures of Litchfield could not render it possible for 
me to remain there and in the morning I took my melancholy 
departure". (Vanderpoel, p. 240). 

Catherine Cebra Webb, another scholar, tells an anecdote in 
point here: "Old Grove Catlin kept the Hotel in Litchfield, and had 
a daughter Flora, who was quite a belle. The law students used 
to quiz him about his daughter's popularity, and he said, "Yes, my 
daughter Flora is assassinated most every night" (meaning sere- 
naded)", (Vanderpoel, p. 150). 

The serenade always involved a flute, whatever other accom- 
paniment might be provided for the singers. This recalls the flute 
and flageolet which accompanied the girls on their walks, but we 
have no clue as to who was the player on these daily excursions. 
Among the village boys at this time, Keuben Merriman, the silver- 
smith, had a son who was a great devotee of the flute. Merrinian's 
shop was next the third Congregational Church, which had just 
been erected. One day his son climbed the steeple and mystified 
the whole toAvn with his silvery notes floating down from the 

It would be pleasant to recall here some of the many girls 
who studied at Miss Pierce's. The school catalogs and other lists 
preserve the names of some hundreds of the three thousand who 
attended in the forty years of Miss Sally's own direction; but space 
prevents any extended notices. Here in 1825 studied Lucy M. Wood- 
ruff, who married Origen S. Seymour. Many indeed are Litchfield 
names, the Buels, the Wolcotts, the Seymours, the Bacons, the Dem- 
ings. Here too came from Sharon the two Canfield sisters, about 
1814, Julia, whom the law students called the Lily of the Valley, 
from her fair skin and want of color, and Elizabeth Hannah, who 
was called the Eose of Sharon, from her beauty and her birthplace. 
She married Frederick Augustus Tallmadge, the son of Col. Tall- 
madge. He became one of the foremost citizens of New York, Presi- 
dent of the State Senate, member of Congress, Eecorder of the City, 
and first Police Commissioner of New York. 

One of the most charming of the students must have been Mary 
Peck, who for a time was instructor in the school and later married 
E. D. Mansfield. She took a foremost part in the life of the school, 
in the plays written by Miss Pierce. Unfortunately no diary of 
hers remains, as her reputation for sprightly fun would have insured 
its interest to us, but she has left us an album full of autographs 
of the prominent Litchfield people of 1827. We must not forget 
the daughters of Dr. Sheldon, Charlotte, who has left us a very 
delightful diary, especially Important for its early date, 1796, and 
Lucy, who also has left us a diary, 1801. There is a pleasant touch 


in one of the latter's letters to her brother, telling of a trip made 
to Magara, with her father and Miss Pierce, which will be cherished 
by all true Litchfielders who feel that travel can show no fairer and 
better place to live in : "Though we have passed through many pleas- 
ant towns and villages yet as we entered Litchfield Miss P. and I 
agreed that we had not seen one that would compare with it — in 
neatness — and none pleasanter. Father jumped out of the stage 
and said 'Home is home, if ever so homely!'" (Vanderpoel, p. 64). 
Lucy Sheldon married Theron Beach of Goshen. She liA^ed in 
her father's house on North Street, and attained the great age 
of 101 years, having been born June 27, 1788, and having died April 7, 
1889. There have been many very old people in Litchfield, but the 
palm is carried away from all competitors by the mother of Judge 
Andrew Adams, who, as Morris tells (p. 107) : "was born in Strat- 
ford, in the year 1698 ; and died in this town in the year 1803 ; aged 
105. She lived in three centuries; and was of a pleasant temper, 
amiable manners, temperate habits, and regular in all her deport- 
ment". After considering such cases, one can see that the opinion 
of Seth P. Beers was well-grounded, when he said, that the critical 
period in the lives of the Litchfield people Avas between the ages 
of ninety nine and one hundred years! 



"The customs and manners of tlie first settlers of Litchfield 
were plain and simple. Their clothing was of their own domestic 
manufacture; and their food of their own raising. Foreign luxu- 
ries were scarcely made use of till about the year 1750. Their amuse- 
ments were of the athletic kind. When young people of both sexes 
assembled together for amusement, they employed themselves prin- 
cipally in dancing, while one of the company sung. The first use 
of the violin in this town for a dance was in the year 1748. The 
whole expense of the amusement, although the young people gener- 
ally assembled, did not exceed one dollar; out of which the fiddler 
was paid. When this instance of profusion took place, parents and 
old people exclaimed, that they should be ruined by the extravagance 
of the youth. In the year 1798, a ball, with the customary enter- 
tainment and variety of music, cost about $160., and nothing was said 
about it. Such has been the difference in the manners of Litch- 
field, within half a century. It is not inferred from this differ- 
ence, that our youth are at present more vicious than formerly; but 
it serves to show a material difference in the wealth and character 
of the people". (Morris, pp. 97-98). 

ISTaturally the Law School and the Female Academy were prin- 
cipally responsible for the great increase in dancing, which carried 
all Litchfield with it, especially around holiday times. As early 
as 1786, six years before Miss Pierce's School was opened, Mariann 
Wolcott wrote to her brother, Frederick : "Litchfield, August 23. ... 
I have been dancing all the forenoon, and my hand trembles so, I 
can hardly write intelligibly. We dance again, this evening; and 
we all wish for your company. Mean time, you are poring over 
some antiquated subject, that is neither instructive nor entertain- 
ing. You cannot say so of our dancing; it is 'an amusement that 
profits the mind'." (Wolcott Memoirs, p. 324). 

After Miss Pierce's School was in full swing, many so-called 
balls were given in the schoolroom under her patronage, the invita- 
tions to attend them being of course highly prized by the law 
students; they Avere however much simpler affairs than the Law 
students gave in return, and probably it was a Law Student dance 
which cost $160., in 1798. The Students Balls, as they were usually 
styled on the invitations, were given in Phelps' Assembly Room, the 
third story of Phelps' Tavern, which was modernized by Rufus King 
in the 60's and denominated the United States Hotel, but which has 
now happily regained its old name of Phelps' Tavern, under the 


ownership of Eugene L. Phelps. The Assembly Koom was very 
lofty, the arched ceiling running up under the mansard roof. There 
was a music balcony at the east end, and around the sides of the 
room ran a broad and comfortable divan, with red moreen cushions, 
the seat itself lifting on hinges, in sections of about four feet, the 
box beneath furnishing a neat and convenient receptacle for head 
dress, shawls and wraps, the latter usually a cloak, the most favore<l 
being a red broadcloth. In this manner, the modern cloakroom was 
dispensed with. 

The invitations to the Students Balls were printed on the backs 
of playing cards, as can be seen by the curious collection of these 
which is preserved in the rooms of our Historical Society. The 
backs of cards were then plain white, and were utilized by printers 
when needing blanks,for lack of anything better. The faces of 
these playing cards are printed from the coarsest wood engraving, 
roughly colored. 

The balls were given nominally to commemorate anniversaries, 
and are so designated on the invitations, as Litchfield Ball, New 
Year's Ball, Birthnight Ball (Feb. 22), Exhibition Ball (in May, at 
the closing of the winter term of Miss Pierce's school), Independence 
Ball, Thanksgiving's Ball, and the like. They were in charge of 
Committees, the members of which issued the tickets, endorsing their 
names on them, to make themselves responsible for the bearers. 
The hour named is invariably Six O'clock, alike in summer and in 
winter, out of deference doubtless to Miss Pierce's nine o'clock cur- 
few rule. The scholars under sixteen from the Academy could not 
attend, but Miss Pierce compensated for this by furnishing a list 
of 'eligibles' to the Students' Committee at the beginning of each 

In addition to these Balls, there were frequent Cotillion parties 
given in private houses. (J. Deming Perkins, in Litchfield Enquirer, 
April 21, 1904). 

No theatricals were ever held in Litchfield till after the Eevolu- 
tion. Puritan principles would have been set too strongly against 
anything of the kind, even if the experience and talent necessary to 
carry them out had existed. The only thing at all related were the 
occasional Exhibitions by the scholars of the many and varied 
schools which have had their brief existences in the town. Thus, 
the Monitor for March 30, 1791, has this paragraph: "Yesterday, 
Mr. Hitchcock's students presented themselves before a public audi- 
ence, at the meeting house, and exhibited various specimens of 
improvement in Beading, Writing, and Declamation, to general 
satisfaction. The lads were from eight to twelve years of age. 
Select pieces from the purest authors were spoken upon the stage, 
and with more propriety than the most sanguine could have expected". 

After the Kevolution and the founding of the Law School, man- 
ners changed so much and the infusion of a new spirit was so strong, 
that it is no surprise to find theatrical performances beginning 
almost at once. 



' i • , ="v 


Dr. Daniel Sheldon 


The first we read of were in May, 1785, when a series of several 
performances was given, "the principal characters being sustained 
by students of Yale College". (Kilbourne, p. 163). Of these the 
Monitor wrote, "Distinguished Merit and literary Ability were so 
evidently conspicuous and amply displayed on the Occasion, as 
would have done Honor to a British Theatre". 

Miss Pierce's sympathies extending to her scholar's play as well 
as to their work, she wrote for them not only Histories, as we have 
already seen, but several plays of a highly religious or moral char- 
acter. Miss Edgeworth, in her most solemn moments, never per- 
petrated anything more pointed with stimulating morals. To us it 
is inconceivable that girls of sixteen could relish depicting the plays 
of "Kuth", "The Two Cousins", and "Jephthah's Daughter", but they 
were great events. All lessons and other occupations were given 
up during the period of preparation. Catherine E. Beecher says 
of these plays, (Autobiography, Vol. I., pp. 227-229) : "A stage was 
erected, scenery was painted and hung in true theatre style, while 
all the wardrobes of the community were ransacked for stage 

"On one occasion of this sort father came in late, and the house 
being packed, he was admitted by the stage entrance. Either from 
fun or accident, just as he was passing over the stage, the curtain 
rose, and the law students spied him and commenced clapping. 
Father stopped, bowed low, amid renewed clapping and laughter, 
and then passed on to his seat. 

"It was in this way that dramatic writing and acting became 
one of the 'nothings' about which I contrived to be busy and keep 
others so. Various little dramas were concocted and acted between 
the school sessions in wintry weather. And after a while, when 
nearly grown up, we got up in the family, very privately, quite an 
affair of this kind. I turned Miss Edgeworth's Unknown Friend 
into a drama, and for some weeks all the children old enough to 
take part, and several school-girls boarding with us, were busy as 
bees preparing for rehearsal. It was kept a profound secret till 
the appointed evening, when father and mother wondered who built 
a fire in the large parlor, and then still more how it happened that 
so many neighbors and students called all at once. Then suddenly 
the dining-room door was opened, and all invited in, while a mysteri- 
ous curtain was descried at the farther end. The curtain rose, 
and forthwith the actors appeared, and completed the whole enter- 
tainment amid 'thunders of applause'. The next day, however, as 
we expected, we were told that it was very well done, but we must 
not do so any more". 

The only professional performance that we hear of, was one of 
'Shakespeare's Plays' given in Mr. Buel's Ball Eoom, in November, 
1789, by a company of strolling actors. (Kilbourne, p. 164). 

If strolling actors were a rare event, it is surprising how many 
miscellaneous entertainments, or exhibitions, came to Litchfield in 


these days. They do not strictly belong in a History of the town, 
but they give so curious a light on what was considered amusement 
in those days, and some of them sound so delightfully absurd in 
themselves, that- a few extracts may be quoted, covering the forty 
years from 1787 to 1827. They are all taken from advertisements, 
and whether they all materialized or how they were received is now 
not to be known. 

Monitor, July 16, 1787: "By permission— Mr. Pool, The first 
American that ever exhibited the following Equestrian Feats of 
Horsemanship on the Continent, Intends performing on Wednesday 
next in Mr. Buel's orchard, in Litchfield. The performance to begin 
at half past four o'clock in the afternoon, if the weather will permit, 
if not, the first fair day after. A clown will entertain the Ladies 
and Gentlemen between the feats". Seven events are specified, all 
growing more and more elaborate and wonderful, "after which Mr. 
Pool will introduce two extraordinary Horses, who at the word of 
command, will lay themselves down and groan, apparently through 
extreme sickness and pain. The entertainment will conclude with 
the noted droll scene, the Taylor riding to Brentford. Tickets 
may be had at Mr. Buel's and at the place of performance, price 
ls.6d. He beseeches the Ladies and Gentlemen, who honor him with 
their presence, to bring no dogs to the place of performance". 

Monitor, November 24, 1789 : Advertisement of John Brenon : "In 
the curious and ingenious art of dancing on the Slack- Wire. Begins 
precisely at 6 .o'clock,tickets at ls.6d. Children 9d. First he bal- 
ances a straw or a single tobacco pipe on the wire, second balances 
a sword on the edge of a wine glass, third goes through a hoop on 
ditto, fourth beats a drum on ditto; the whole of his performance 
being collected from different parts of the globe where such amuse- 
ments are in repute would be too long for this advertisement, his 
ground balancing being past description. Mrs. Brenon walks the 
Slack- Wire and performs many other feats never before attempted 
by an American Lady". 

Monitor, February 16, 1791: "To the Curious. To be seen 
at Charles Marsh's stable, a few rods south of the Court -House, till 
Thursday evening, Two Camels, Male and Female, from Arabia. 
These stupendous animals are most deserving the attention of the 
curious, being the greatest natural curiosities ever exhibited to the 
public on this continent. They are twenty hands high, have necks 
four feet long. ... a large high bunch on their backs, and another 
under their breasts, in the form of a pedestal, on which they support 
themselves when lying down, they have four joints in their hind 
legs, . . . will travel 12 or 14 days without drink, and carry 15 
hundred weight. . . . are remarkably harmless and docile, and will 
lie down and rise at command". 

Witness, February 19, 1806: New Museum of Wax Work. 
"Street respectfully acquaints the ladies and gentlemen of Litchfield 
and vicinity, that he has opened, at the house of Mr. Charles But- 


ler, a large and elegant collection of wax flgures, as large as life". 
Among the various characters advertised are, "an elegant figure of 
the grand Bashaw of Tripoli", and a "Likeness of Mr. Ephraim 
Pratt, aged 120 years. This singular man is represented as giving 
his property to a stranger in preference to his own family". 

The same year, in connection with the Litchfield Festival of the 
Democrats, there was advertised in the Witness, July 30, 1806: In 
connection with the Kepublican Celebration of the 6th of August, a 
live elephant will be exhibited at the house of Grove Catlin from 
7 A. M, till sunset. Among other tricks announced, this animal 
was trained to draAV corks, to the astonishment of the Spectators. 
Was this the original elephant of the G. O. P.? 

Poster in the collection of the Litchfield Historical Society, 
August 17, 1827: "The Aerial Phaeton. The subscriber intends 
erecting on Litchfield Hill by the first day of September! next an 
Aerial Phaeton. The design of the machine is to afford an agree- 
able pastime to ladies and gentlemen. It consists of Four Car- 
riages each supported by Two Arms, which are attached to an Axle- 
tree in the centre. They are turned by a Propelling Machine, and 
will carry eight persons at once, two in each carriage, Avho will in 
regular succession be raised to the distance of Fifty Feet in the 
air, at a rate of velocity equal to ten miles a minute, or slower, as 
suits the wishes of those occupying the carriages, and all with per- 
fect ease and safety. This method of recreation and amusement has 
been highly recommended by the most eminent Physicians in the 
United States, and Avill be found the best mode for taking an airing, 
by those whose lives are sedentary, that can be practised. The 
place where it is to be erected, is airy, the prospect extending wide, 
and being relieved by all the variety of hill and dale. Every atten- 
tion will be paid to company, and all things done 'decently and in 
order'. John H. Montgomery, Inventor and maker of the Aerial 
Phaeton. Price 12^ per mile — children, half price". 

There were many outdoor amusements. One of the great events 
of the year was training day, when the local militia had their chief 
display. Here is an account from the Monitor, October 3, 1792: 
"Yesterday, the company of Cavalry, commanded by Capt. Elihu 
Lewis, well mounted and equipt, and two foot companies, under 
Capts. Stone and Seymour, principally in uniform, mustered on the 
parade of this town, and diverted several hundred spectators by a 
variety of evolutions and firings, much to the honor of their respec- 
tive corps. Harmony and good conduct pervaded the Avhole, and 
no accidents occurred. Tho' a day of apparent glee, yet few, if any, 
were the disciples of Sir Kichard — the head and legs of most were 
capable of performing their accustomed duties". 

We are fortunate in having two glimpses of Training Day, from 
the diaries respectively of one of the girls and one of the law Stu- 
dents. Eliza A. Ogden writes on September 24, 1816 : "Friday it was 
general training and there was no school in the morning. I went down 

126 thf: history of litchfield 

to the school house and saw them on the parade. In the afternoon I 
went down to Miss Jones, to see the sham, fight. I liked it very well". 
Younglove Cutler, September 21, 1820, tells the story with his usual 
more considerable snap: "To begin this great day was powdered. 
Huzza! here we go, the defenders of our country — but lo my horse 
has fallen under me & I am with my sword in the dirt & he (care- 
ful creature) is bounding in his turn over me without harming a 
hair of my head — now I am appearing to great advantage — now the 
girls are falling in love with me — now at dinner. Mr. Such a 
thing whom Lyman & myself saw at the ball & Mr. Law — both 
from Georgia there — now it is afternoon & and I am bounding about 
— now running our people — now my horse is fatigued — now it is 
night — now I am dancing at the ball. . ." (Vanderpoel, pp. 165; 200) . 

But there could not be balls and trainings every day. In 
winter we have already read of the sleigh rides. There was the 
skating also, though nothing is said of the school-girls going on the 
ice, perhaps because of the reputed danger. Our lakes and the 
river have claimed their victims indeed at all periods, four drown- 
ings having occurred prior to 1814, and a relatively large number 
since. Morris gives an account of these early accidents, pp. 99-100: 
"The first was John Kilby, a foreigner, who fell out of a small canoe, 
while crossing the Great Pond alone, on the 10th of September, 1787. 
The second was a son of James Wickwire, who, on the 11th day of 
December, 1793, fell through the ice, while playing on the Great 
Pond with his school-mates. On the evening of the 16th day of 
December, 1812, William H. Bennett, of South Carolina, aged 16 
3^ears, and William Ensign, aged 14, school-mates, then members of 
Morris Academy, were drowned in the Great Pond. The moon 
shone brightly. As others were skating, they ran into a glade. 
An alarm was immediately given, and every exertion made to find 
their bodies, but they could not be found till they had been under 
water about one hour. Attempts were then made to resuscitate them, 
but in vain. They were amiable youths, fond of each other, and 
in a very melancholy manner united in death". 

In summer, there were walks, occasional driving excursions, 
trips on Bantam Lake, not to speak of the earlier and more rural 
Husking parties, Apple-bees, Raisings, Quiltings, Spinning parties, 
and of course the Weddings. 

In the days of the Academy, the walks were principally to Pros- 
pect Hill, where there was then, as later, an Echo Rock, and to 
Love's Altar, a shady nook by the stream below the hill back of 
the Frederick Wolcott house. Mary Peck, of the Pierce School, has 
left us delightful colored sketches of these in her album, preserved 
in our Historical Society. They are well worth looking up in the 
reproductions given in Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel's Chronicles, pp. 246 
and 248. 

"Mr. Lord had built a bowling alley on the west side of the 
Prospect Hill road for the benefit of the pupils of both schools, so 
we can picture these walks combined with lively bowling matches. 


much like tliose of later days that were held in the old bowling alley, 
hack of the United States Hotel". (Vanderpoel, p. 32). 

Finally Bantam Lake offered its attractions, made available by 
a few boats to be rented for fishing, and occasionally by more pre- 
tentious craft for excursions. The following advertisements are 
reprinted from Vanderpoel's Chronicles, p. 33: 

Monitor, August 24, 1795: "This subscriber informs the public, 
and particularly those who either for health or pleasure are dis- 
posed to enjoy the water, that he has thoroughly repaired that com- 
modious, prime sailing Pleasure Boat, the Pond Lily; and that she 
will ply from the northern to the southern shore every day in the 
week, (wind and weather permitting). She has good accommoda- 
tions for Passengers; and Ladies and Gentlemen, wishing to indulge 
in a few hours of healthy and agreeable pastime, will be cheerfully 
waited upon. Select companis from the town and country, are 
solicited to afford themselves this pleasant relaxation from business ; 
and on seasonable notice to the Skipper of the Boat, every required 
attention is promised them, by their devoted, humble servant. James 

"The new and elegant Horse boat, Bantam, having been recently 
built for the express purpose of accommodating j)leasure parties 
on the Bantam Lake is now completely prepared to accommodate 
ladies and gentlemen who may wish to take advantage of this safe 
and neat mode of taking a trip upon our pleasant waters. Parties 
wishing to engage the boat for a trip, must give two days notice to 
the subscriber residing at the north end of the Lake. Harmon 
Stone, Litchfield, June 27, 1826". 

"Bantam Lake, (Great Pond, so-called), being a place of much 
resort, the subscriber has fitted up a small establishment, located 
on the shore of the northeast extreme of said Lake, in neat order, 
for the accommodation of those gentlemen and ladies who may wish 
to spend a few hours on and about this beautiful sheet of water. 
Frederick A. Marsh, May 28, 1829". 



It was not till the close of Litchfield's Golden Age that the cen- 
tralizing tendency of Connecticut industries became marked. Prior 
to 1840, all the hill towns of the State had a number and variety 
of local industries far in excess of what they ever had after that 
date. In Litchfield this was peculiarly the case, because of the 
important position occupied by the town at the intersection of 
several main lines of travel. Elizabeth C. Barney Buel read a 
most comprehensive paper on the Industries of Litchfield County 
before the Scientific Association in October 1904, from which the 
following outlines of some of the more important and interesting 
activities have been takem 

A general view of local industries is given in the Gazetteer of 
the States of Connecticut and Khode Island, 1810. "The most 
important manufacture in the town is that of iron, of Avhich there 
are 4 forges, 1 slitting mill and 1 nail factory. There are 1 cotton 
mill, 1 oil mill, 1 paper mill, 2 cording (carding?) machines, 6 full- 
ing mills, 5 grain mills, 18 saw mills, 5 large tanneries, besides sev- 
eral on a small scale; 2 comb factories, 2 hatter's shops, 2 carriage 
makers, 1 cabinet furniture maker, 3 saddlers, and a number of 
house carpenters, joiners, smiths and other mechanics". Morris^ 
p. 89, repeats this list, adding "1 machine for making wooden clocks 
and 1 cotton manufactory". 

This list, however, by no means exhausts the catalog of Litch- 
field's industries, even at that early date. The advertisements in 
the early Monitors and in the other newspapers refiect an active 
commercial life beginning at once after the close of the Eevolution. 
Certainly the army stores gathered in Litchfield during the War 
involved the presence here of many merchants and emphasized the 
important geographical position of the town, as it then was. Situ- 
ated at the intersection of the road from Boston and Hartford to 
New York with that from New Haven to Albany, the market, at 
least for certain commodities, was much more than a local one. 
In the first issue of the Monitor, December 21, 1784, there are only 
three Litchfield advertisements: that of William Russell, stocking 
weaver, from Norwich, England, who announced that he Avas ready 
to make "worsted, cotton and linen Jacket and Breeches Patterns, 
men's and women's Stockings, Gloves and Mitts"; that of Zalmon 
Bedient, barber, who offered cash for human hair, at his shop a 
few rods north of the court-house; and that of Cornelius Thayer, 
who carried on the business of brazier at the shop of Col. Miles 


Beach in North Street, at which shop the jeweler's and silversmith's 
business "is carried on as usual by said Beach". Ten or fifteen 
years later these three pioneer advertisements had increased in 
number to fill three columns or more, setting forth enterprises of 
every variety. 

The iron industry is mentioned by the Gazetteer as of the chief 
importance. One foundry stood near the site of Miss Van Winkle's 
house on North Street, owned by Kussell Hunt and Brothers. The 
ore was brought from Kent and Salisbury, in winter on sleds and 
in summer on pack horses in leather bags. 

There was a slitting mill in Bantam, where the first rolling 
and slitting for nails was done by machinery by a secret process. 
Bantam can also boast the first machine-made harness buckles. 

In Milton there was a puddling furnace owned by Hugh Welch. 
In 1860 this was bought by one Hinchcliff, and converted into the 
shears shop. 

A forge Avas located in Bantam near the site of the factory of 
Flynn and Doyle. 

In the Monitor, February 15, 1797, is told the first industrial 
disaster of the toAvn. "On Monday the pressure of water and ice, 
on the stream leading out of the Great Pond, was so great that it 
swept off the dam, bridge and iron-house belonging to Mssrs. Wads- 
worth and Kirby, at their slitting and rolling mill. Their loss is 
estimated at $2,500, including the suspension of their business the 
present season. The damage to the public at large will be much 
greater than the individual loss. The great quantity of Cash 
put in motion by this factory has a sensible effect on the circulating 
mediimi of this and the neighboring towns. All persons concerned 
in the manufacture of Iron have strong reasons to lament this mis- 
fortune". Fortunately, a notice in the issue of February 27 
announces that by the great exertions of the firm and "the generous 
assistance of their friends" they "have nearly repaired the damage 
and that on Thursday of the present week the}^ will be again in 

In Bantam lived a certain Phineas Smith, nailor, who advertised 
in the Monitor for "one or two faithful Workmen at hamnier'd 
Nails". These hammered nails were possibly the handmade nails 
that are pulled with such difficulty out of the oaken beams of our 
oldest houses. They were of such value that cai'penters of old never 
threw them away, but carefully straightened out the used ones and 
preserved them for future use. 

The building industry had a famous representative in Giles Kil- 
bourn, who built the church erected in 1796 on the hill opposite 
the Burying Ground at Bantam by the seceding Episcopalians of 
the western part of the town, who, during the ministry of Kev. 
David Butler, organized the Second Episcopal Society of Litchfield. 
Giles Kilbourn died September 13, 1797, and his funeral was the first 


in the new church. He built the houses now occupied by Mrs. 
Vanderpoel, Mrs. Harrison Sanford and Charles H. Coit. 

Joiners were frequently advertised for by our old cabinet 
makers, many of whom signed their names to their work, like artists 
or silver- smiths. They had a right to do so, for their work was 
hand-wrought and artistic. One of the most noted of these men 
was Silas E. Cheney, who died in 1820. David Bulkley and George 
Dewey Avere partners, tAvo doors west of the County House, and their 
carving became famous far beyond the limits of the township. 
They were succeeded about 1839 by Bulkley and Cooke. 

John Mattocks, a Windsor chair maker, half a mile west of the 
center, advertised in 1797, taking in exchange for his work "Bass 
wood Plank proper for chair seats". Near him and at the same 
period, Nathaniel Brown, house joiner, made "Windsor, flddle-back, 
dining-room, parlor, kitchen and children's chairs". 

Also in 1797 appears the advertisement of Oliver Clark and 
Ebenezer Plumb Jr., who "Have taken the shop lately occupied by 
Mr. Ozias Lewis, in the main South Street, a few rods below Mr. 
Kirby's, — where they intend (if properly encouraged) to furnish 
every description of Cabinet Work, elegant and common to fancy 
on agreeable terms. They make Heart-back Cherry Chairs from 
7 to 9 dollars each; Windsor ditto from 8s. to 15s. each. Pungs 
and Sleighs, of any model, on short notice. All kind of Stuff fit 
for Cabinet or Shop Avork, receiA^ed in payment". The taking of 
produce or raAv material in payment for manufactured articles is a 
frequent feature of the old advertisements, due to the scarcity of 
circulating coin in the years folloAving the KcA^olution. In 1799, 
Oliver Clark was at Avork alone at the same shop, adA^ertising 
"swell'd and straight sideboards, bureaus, chairs, etc., of mahogany, 
cherry and other stuff highly finished; and finishing buildings in the 
most approved style of architecture". 

The trade of carriage making was a prominent one. There was 
a carriage factory at Milton OAATied by Ealpli P. Smith's father and 
uncle, located below the Blake Grist-mill. At a A'ery much earlier 
period coaches were made at a factory on Chestnut Hill, every part 
of the carriage being manufactured on the spot. In 1839, William 
Clark manufactured "Carriages, Pedlar and Pleasure Wagons of 
all kinds" to order "one door north of the Congregational Church", 
and in the same year Ambrose Norton had a carriage shop further 
up North Street on the Avest side. North Street Avas essentially 
the business street in those days, and the street also on AA'-hich the 
greatest merchants lived, especialh^ Benjamin Tallmadge and Julius 
Deming, each of whom had his store immediately south of his house. 
In his Statistical Account, Morris enumerates the carriages in use, 
presumably in the spring of 1812 as "1 phaeton, 1 coachee and 46 
two-wheel pleasure carriages!" and adds, p. 92, "Waggons, drawn 
either by one or tAvo horses, are much used by the inhabitants. The 
first pleasure carriage, a chair, was brought into this toAAOi by 


Mr. Matthews, mayor of New York, in the year 1776, and is still 
in use here: the first umbrella in the year 1772". 

Still another carriage factory was located at the foot of West 
Hill, before the tan-yard which was there for so many years. 

Tanning was an extensive industry, together with other manu- 
factures involving the use of skins and leather. Caleb Bacon adver- 
tised. Monitor, May 29, 1799, for a boy "14 or 15 years old as an 
Apprentice to the Shoemaking and Tanning Business". Morocco 
leather was produced here in those energetic days, and used for 
hats, witness another Ad. of the same Caleb Bacon, in the Witness, 
July 1, 1806: "The subscriber takes this method to inform his 
customers and the public that he is now carrying on the morocco 
manufactory in Litchfield half-a-mile north of the Court House 
on the great road leading from New Haven to Albany, where he 
offers for sale in large or small quantities Eowan Morocco suit- 
able for Shoes or Hats, finished in the neatest manner by some of 
the best workmen on the continent. Also a few real Coat Skins, 
Kid Bindery, etc.. Cheap for cash or raw materials, such as Oak 
and Hemlock bark. Hides, calf and sheep skins, sumac of this year's 
growth (the time to crop which is July and August) and must be 
dried like hay free from rain or any wet. Hatters and shoemakers 
will do well to call and see for themselves". 

There were saddlers and harness makers in large numbers. 
But leather was used for many other purposes less to be expected. 
Erastus Lord made the first leather pocket-books in this country. 
"He moved to Litchfield", Vanderpoel, p. 24, "and continued to make 
them at his house on the south side of Prospect Street, where Mr. 
MacMartin now lives". His son, Augustus A. Lord worked with 
him and later by himself, and finally moved to the center and con- 
fined himself to book-binding. For a time his business was very 
varied, as shown by an advertisement in the Enquirer, May 6, 1844: 
"Blank Book Manufactory. A. A. Lord manufactures to order, 
Kecords, Ledgers, Journals, Day Books, Waste Books, Grand List 
Books, Writing Books, Memorandums, etc. etc. at his manufactory 
in Prospect St. He also manufactures Pocket Books of every 
description, Among which are Pocket Books, Portfolios, Bill Books, 
Memorandum and Merchants' Pocket Books, Gents' and Ladies' 
Dressing Cases, etc. Book Binding in all its variety executed in the 
most thorough manner. All of the above articles made of the best 
of stock, and the workmanship equal to any in the country". 

In the Monitor, November 3, 1795, Thomas Trowbridge advertised 
for "two or three journeymen Shoemakers who if steady and faith- 
ful will find immediate employ and sufficient wages". His business 
was extensive, as is evidenced by an anecdote told of Col. Tall- 
madge. The latter was most particular as to his dress, and con- 
tinued to wear the small clothes and long stockings of the Kevolu- 
tionary period long after other men had donned trousers. A neces- 
sary accompaniment of this costume was a pair of elegant high 


top boots. He once took sucli a pair to Trowbridge's shop and asked 
him if he could repair them. Mr. Trowbridge assured him that 
he could, but the Colonel was still doubtful as to his ability: "I 
bought those boots in New York", he said, "and they are exceedingly 
choice". "And I made those boots in Litchfield", was Trowbridge's 
answer, "and sold them to the New York trade. I guess I can 
mend them!" And the Colonel was satisfied that he could. 

Hats were made not only out of Morocco, but from beaver and 
lamb's wool. Turning again to the Monitor, August 15, 1798; 
"Shear'd Lamb's Wool, Proper for Hatter's use, paid for in cash at 
the store of Timothy and Virgil Peck; — who manufacture and have 
for sale Hats of i^rime and inferior quality". And just below 
this: "Sam. Seymour and Ozias Seymour" also announce that they 
have beaver hats for sale and pay cash for lamb's wool and for 
"Lambskins with the wool on". There were fulling mills beyond 
the North Street iron foundry, where wool Avas fulled "for hats made 
and sold on South Street by Ozias and Moses Seymour. This hat 
factory was afterwards moved to the west of the town and owned 
by Braman and Kilbourne". (Vanderpoel, p. 24). 

Wool was a very important conmiodity; and wool carding had 
to be carefully supervised. In the Witness, June 10, 1806, we find 
S. Strong & Co., announcing that they had "again employed Jerry 
Eadcliffe to superintend their carding machine, lialf a mile south 
of Capt. Bradley's Tavern. As Mr. Eadcliffe's skill in the business 
of carding is well known in this neighborhood nothing need be 
said on that point. Our customers are informed that their work 
will be warranted well done, conditioned that those who have cause 
of complaint inform us previous to spinning the wool — otherwise no 
allowance will be made. Wool for carding may be left at Moses 
Seymour Jr's store or at the Machine". In 1805, Jerry Eadcliffe 
had been "carrying on the business of cloth dressing at Marsh's 
Mills, half a mile east of the Court House". 

"Wool spinning", continues Mrs. Buel, whose notes we are 
closely following, "was still done at home, although these other 
steps in the process of cloth-making, such as the preparation of the 
wool for the wheel, the dyeing of the yarn and the weaving of the 
fabric had already begun to pass into the factory or the hands of 
specialists". Wool wheels are advertised: "Notice to Farmers. 
Cradle and Wheel Manufactory. The subscriber has located him- 
self one mile and a half west of the Court House on Harris' Plain, 
so-called, where he has on hand Grain Cradles with Scythes or with- 
out. Also, Wool Wheels and Eeels. On hand, a few dozen Patent 
Wheel Heads, with Cast Steel Spindles. . . . Elias Bissell". 

There are many advertisements of the dyeing business. At the 
clothier's works of Sam. Nevins about a mile north of the Meeting 
House, cotton and linen yarn Avere dyed blue. In 1806 (Witness) 
"Euth Cooper having obtained a complete skill in blue dyeing from 


Louis Perkins, proposes to carry on the Business in the East part 
of this town". 

Marsh's Mills, at the foot of East Hill, were owned by Ebenezer 
Marsh and later by Thomas Addis, Clothier, who, according to his 
advertisements, "executes all branches of the trade including weav- 

In the last years of the eighteenth century we get an interesting 
announcement in the Monitor, December 2, 1798, showing not only 
the low ebb of the clothiers' business, but an early attempt at a 
commercial pooling of prices : "Notices to Clothiers. The Clothiers 
of the County of Litchfield are requested to meet at Mr. David 
Buel's, in Litchfield, on the third Monday of December instant at 
1 o'clock, P. M. The sufi'ering interest of the trade, in common with 
other artizans, by means of their labour bearing an inadequate pro- 
portion to the rate of Produce, etc., requires immediate remedy; and 
the object of the meeting being principally to establish uniformity in 
prices, it is hoped every person interested will punctually and point- 
edly attend". 

David Buel, here mentioned, was a man of many enterprises. He 
was for a time joint publisher with Thomas Collier of the Monitor; 
dealt in ladies' Stuff Shoes; exchanged sole leather for cash or 
flax; and Avas the Litchfield Agent for one of the State lotteries, for 
raising money for public works, as was then the unquestioned cus- 
tom in pious Connecticut. 

Flax was still abundantly raised. Ephraim Kirby and Benja- 
min Doolittle owned an oil-mill where they "exchange the best Lin- 
seed Oil for Flax Seed". (Monitor, January, 1798). In 1805 Moses 
Seymour Jr., also ran an Oil Mill. 

There was a cotton mill near the foot of South Hill, owned by 
Samuel Sheldon, a brother of Colonel Elisha Sheldon, and near it 
was a papier mache factory. Julius Deming started a paper mill 
in Bantam, in which Elisha Horton, who took part in the Boston 
Tea Party, was the foreman. Samples of the paper made by him 
are in the collections of the Litchfield Historical Society. 

In Milton there v/as a button mill opposite the grist mill, while 
grist mills were dotted throughout the country. "Anti-Come-Off 
Coat and Pantaloons Buttons, a new article", were advertised at 
A. P. P. Camp's, in the Enquirer, June 3, 1841, but history is silent 
as to whether they were locally made. 

About 1842 Simeon S.. Patterson came to Litchfield with his 
family from New Preston and, with his eldest son James G. Batter- 
son, established and for some years maintained a marble yard on 
the East side of Meadow Street. Specimens of their work can still 
be seen in some of the Litchfield houses. From Litchfield they 
removed to Hartford, where James G. Batterson became one of the 
leading business men. He organized, and for many years was 
President of, the Traveler's Insurance Company. He was the 
builder of our present State Capitol, and of many other public build- 
ings in Hartford and elsewhere. 


Eecord also survives of a brick-yard lialf-a-mile west of the 
Court House, where in 1798 John Kussell offered bricks in lots of 
from 15,000 to 50,000. There was also a piano factory about a 
mile Avest of town; at least a depression in the ground is shown 
where such a factory is reputed to have stood. 

It is a pity that the memory of many such curious old enter- 
prises is quite lost. One would also like to know what became of 
the silk worms which Jedediah Strong advocated in prose and 
verse, some of which he claimed to be raising at his Elm Kidge 

A highly successful business at one time was that of the gold 
and silversmiths. Samuel Shethar, Isaac Thompson, Keuben Mer- 
riman, Timothy Peck, William Ward and Benjamin Hanks were the 
best known of these workers in gold, silver and brass. Some of 
their silver spoons are still in use. In 1903, the Mary Floyd Tall- 
madge Chapter, D. A. E., held a large and interesting exhibit of 
locally owned silver, including specimens by several of these men. 
They were nearly all active somewhere between 1795 and 1805. 
Among many other things, Shethar manufactured those silver 
Eagles, the nation's arms, which were the emblem of the Federalists 
and were worn in the hat by both men and Avomen during the bitter 
war between the Federalists and the Democrats. Undoubtedly these 
sold well in Litchfield in 1806. Another of these men, Benjamin 
Hanks came from Mansfield, Conn., to this town in 1778, remain- 
ing only till 1785, when he returned to Mansfield. While here he 
was a clock and Avatch maker, and contracted for and put up the 
first clock in the city of New York: on the old Dutch Church, 
Nassau and Liberty Streets. The clock Avas unique, having a Avind- 
mill attachment, his own patent, for Avinding itself up. 

We should not overlook the many industries of Northfield in the 
old days. These include, since 1798, spinning wheels, clocks, tin- 
ware, linen goods, nails, brick, cider brandy, flutes, Avagons, car- 
riages, coffins, leather goods, try squares, clothespins, knitting 
machines, butter and cheese, harness snaps, and cutlery, of which 
only the last survives. 

To sum up the commercial industries of the Golden Age in 
Litchfield we are fortunate in having an accurate summary of those 
still active in 1845, at the very end of the period. This is found 
in a book prepared by Daniel P. Tyler, Secretary of State at Hart- 
ford, from the returns of the local assessors, entitled "Statistics of 
Certain Branches of Industry in Connecticut for the year ending 
October 1, 1845". The abbreviations used are: C. for capital; E. 
for employee; F. for female; M. for male; and V. for value. 

Woolen Mills, 2; machinery, 2 setts; wool consumed 11,000 lbs; 
satinet m'd, 11,000 yds; V. $8,000; fiannel m'd, 2,981 yds; V. 
$1,490.50; woolen yarn m'd, 500 lbs; V. $300; C. $6,000; M.E. 7; F.E. 3. 

Casting Furnace, 1; Avare cast, 30 tons; V. $2,250; C. $5,000; 
E. 7. 


Paper Factory, 1; stock consumed V. $3,500; paper m'd V. $8,000; 
C. $15,000; E. 10. 

Musical Instrimieiit Factory, 1; V. of ni's, $8,000; C. $15,000; 
E. 16. 

Saddle, Harness and Trunk Factory, 1; V. of m's, $1,000; C. 
$500; E. 2. 

Plat and Cap Factory, 1; No. m'd 2,000; V. $3,000; C. $1,000; 
E. 6. 

Car, Coach and Wagon Factories, 7; V. of m's, $21,900; C. 
$10,900; E. 31. 

Soap and Candle Factory, 1; soap m'd, 100 bbls; V. $300; tal- 
low candles m'd, 600 lbs; V. $50; E. 1. 

Chair and Cabinet Factory, 1; V. of m's, $3,000; C. $2,000; E. 5. 
Tin Faotories, 2; V. of m's, $4,000; C. $2,000; E. 3. 
Linseed Oil Mill, 1; oil m'd, 2,000 gallons; V. $2,000; C. $2,000; 
E. 1. 

Tannery, 1 ; hides tanned, 1,765 ; leather m'd, V. $5,605 ; C. $5,650 : 
E. 7. 

Boots m'd, 1,286 pairs ; shoes, 2,167 pairs ; V. $7,500 ; E. 20. 
Bricks m'd, 110,000; V. $500; E. 1. 
Snuff, Tobacco and Segars m'd, V. $1,400; E. 2. 
Lumber prepared for market, V. $3,079. 
Firewood prepared for market, 4,549 cords; V. $9,098. 
Flouring Mills, 4; C. $8,000. 
Marble made into grave stones, V. $3,000; E. 3. 
Suspenders m'd, 6,300 doz; V. $26,100; C. $5,000; M. E. 9; F. 
E. 50. 

Mittens and Gloves m'd, 800 doz; V. $4,800; C. $4,000; E. 4. 
Sperm oil consumed in factories, 192 gals; V. $192. 
Sheep, all sorts, 3,278; V. $2,570; wool produced, 15,714 lbs; V. 

Horses, 565; V. $16,273; neat cattle, 4,969; V. $51,231; swine, 
2,714; V. $21,604. 

Indian Corn, 24,777 bu; V. $20,564.91; wheat, 55 bu. V. $82.50; 
rye, 8,748 bu, V. $7,260.84; barley, 226 bu. V. $136.80; oats, 29,920 bu; 
V. $12,566.40; potatoes, 46,713 bu; Y. $11,678.25; other esculents, 
36,713 bu; V. $6,118.83. 

Hay, 7,830 tons; V. $93,960; flax, 1,046 lbs; V. $104.60. 
Fruit, 32,710 bu; V. $400; buckwheat, 9,316 bu; V. $4,658. 
Butter, 126,314 lbs; V. $18,947.10; cheese, 352,262 lbs; V. $21,135; 
honey, 1,000 lbs; V. $100; beeswax, 100 lbs; V. $28. 

Benjamin Tallmadge, Julius Deming and Moses Seymour were 
perhaps the three largest merchants in the town. The picturesque 
figure of Col. Tallmadge directs attention to him in particular. 

Henry Ward Beecher Avrote of him: "How well do we remember 
the stately gait of the venerable Colonel of Revolutionary memory! 
We don't recollect that he ever spoke to us or greeted us, — not 
because he was austere or unkind, but from a kind of military 
reserve. We thought him good and polite, but should as soon have 


thouglit of climbing the church steeple as of speaking to one living 
so high and venerable above all boys!" (Litchfield Eevisited, 1856). 
Col. L. W. Wessells has also left us a boy's impression of him: 
''When a small boy, I have often seen him on horseback, a remark- 
ably handsome figure and splendid horseman. He wore small 
clothes and top boots, with shirt ruffled at bosom and wrists, and 
we urchins looked upon him as something very nearly God-like. 
He made me a present of the first cock and hen of the Poland 
variety ever brought to Litchfield, and I was, of course, inflated 
with pride and the envy of every boy far and near". (Connecticut 
Quarterly, September, 1896). 

In his Personal Memories, p. 135, E, D. Mansfield wrote of him: 
"He was one of the gentlemen of the old school, with the long queue, 
white-topped boots, and breeches. After the war he had retired to 
Litchfield, and was one of the most marked as well as dignified 
men who appeared in that aristocratic town. When the Western 
Eeserve of Ohio was set off to Connecticut and sold for the school 
fund, he became a large owner of lands there, and a township was 
named after him". 

Col. Tallmadge was in business with his brother, John Tall- 
madge, who lived in Warren, and was postmaster there. The wide 
range of goods covered in their importations is proved by a single 
one of their many advertisements in the Monitor, November 7, 1792: 

''Cheap Goods! The subscribers having supi)lied their stores at 
Litchfield and Warren, with a large and general assortment of Euro- 
pean and West-Indian Goods, now offer them for Sale at a very 
small advance for pay in hand, or on a short credit. Besides a great 
variety of other articles, not mentioned, they have on hand a large 
assortment of : Twill'd plain and striped Coating ; Superfine and low 
priced Broadcloths; London Kersemiers; Scarlet, crimson and green 
Baizes, double and single; Yellow and white Flannels; Kattinetts, 
Shalloons, Antiloons; Durants and Tammies, twill'd and plain, of 
various colors; Moreens, Taboreeus, Joans; Black Kussell, Calli- 
manco, Sattinette, Lastings, Velvets, Thicksetts and Cords, Twil'd 
and plain; Fustians, Janes; Hat Linings, Scarlet, blue and light 
colored Shagg; Wildbores, Cordurett and Camblett of various col- 
ors ; Elegant tanibour'd vest patterns ; Toylonetts ; silk, cotton, hemp 
and thread Hose, ribb'd and plain; Chintzs, Callicoes, Furniture 
ditto. Printed Linen, diversified in figure and quality; Best India 
Sattin, wide and narrow, twill'd, plain and vellum Modes; Sarsa- 
nettes, silk and thread, wide and narrow, edging and laces; Chinz 
and purple Shawls; Eibbons of all colors and qualities; Furs and 
Trimmings; etc., etc., etc., etc., any or all of which will be sold by 
the piece, pattern, or single yard. Also a very general assortment 
of Ironmongery and Hardware; a very extensive and general assort- 
ment of crockery and Glass Ware; 6 by 8 and 7 by 9 Window Glass; 
Looking Glasses handsomely gilt; large Family and smaller Bibles; 
Testaments and Psalm Books; Websters Institutes, by the gross, 


Julius Deming 




dozen or single book; Allum; Copperas; White and Ked Lead; Span- 
ish White and Spanish BroAvn; Kedwood; Logwood; Fustick and 
Nickaragua; Hyson, Shushong and Bohea Teas, by the chest or 
smaller quantity; Loaf and Brown Sugars, by the Hund. or lb.; 
Chocolate; Ginger; Pimento; Pepper; Snuff; Tobacco; Cotton Wool; 
Indigo; Old Spirits, St. Croix, St. Vincents and Grenada Bum, Wine 
of different qualities, and molasses. Best Holland and Geneva, do 
Nantz Brandy, by the Hogshead, pipe, bbl, or gal. For further 
particulars please to call on the subscribers, Benj. Tallmadge and 

Both Col. Tallmadge and Julius Deming made their importations 
direct from abroad, which was very unusual in those days, and 
would be enterprising today. Together, on one occasion, they 
imported a cargo of horses from England, to improve the stock in 
this country. Julius Deming himself went abroad to select goods; 
on his trip home he was wrecked, and wisely decided never to go 
near salt water again. This did not prevent his joining witL Oliver 
Wolcott Jr. and Col Tallmadge, however, in a far-reaching enter- 
prise, the Litchfield China Trading Co. This was after the expira- 
tion of Oliver Wolcott's term as Secretary of the Treasury of the 
United States in 1800, when he took up his residence in New York. 
Each partner contributed an equal share, but the Company was 
directed principally from New York. They purchased the ship 
Trident, as their first vessel, and commenced shipping Pillar Dollars, 
the only available export to China at the time, bringing back the 
usual products of that country. The company was a successful 
one, but was dissolved in 1814, possibly as a result of the Embargo 
Act of 1812-13. 

After this Oliver Wolcott returned to Litchfield, and was active 
in various enterprises with his brother, Frederick Wolcott. They 
were associated in the improvement of agriculture and the introduc- 
tion of improved breeds of stock, particularly the Devon and Dur- 
ham cattle and the Merino sheep, of both of which they were 
importers. (Wolcott Memorial, p. 318). 

His services as Governor again interrupted his commercial ven- 
tures at home, but when his terms aggregating ten years were fin- 
ished he once more undertook an extensive experiment. This was 
the manufacture of woolen cloth at Wolcottville (Torrington). 
Although this was disastrous financially, it was the foundation of 
the present industrial prominence of our neighboring borough. The 
experiment terminated in a lawsuit, which was tried in Litchfield 
before Judge David Daggett. The Judge was an ardent Federalist, 
and the jury was opposed politically to Wolcott. It was at this 
trial that Judge Gould made his last appearance as Counsel. He 
conducted the case against Wolcott, and carried the Jury with him. 
Judge Origen S. Seymour, then a young man, attended the trial, 
and felt that Judge Daggett's conduct of the case was partisan. 
On reviewing the matter, however, in later years, he not only modi- 
fied, but reversed his opinion". (Book of Days, i>. 184). 



The following notices of the several newspapers issued in Litch- 
field are taken from the Catalogue of the Litchfield Historical 
Society, 1906: 

and Copp, Printers. Began Dec. 21, 1784, The Monitor, with 
variation in name and size of paper, continued for twenty two 
years. On Sept. 15, 1788, Thomas Collier, who had been for 
some years the sole printer, associated with him one Adam. 
April 27, 1789, the partnership was dissolved and the paper 
suspended until Nov. 17, 1789, when Collier again became the 
printer. Jan. 18, 1792, the Monitor was published by Collier 
and Buel, who continued until the last issue of the paper, 1807. 

WITNESS. Selleck Osborn and Timothy Ashley, Editors and Pub- 
lishers. Began Aug. 14, 1805. Discontinued, 1807. 

LITCHFIELD GAZETTE. Charles Hosmer and Goodwin, Printers. 
Began March 13, 1808. Discontinued May 17, 1809. 

LITCHFIELD JOURNAL. Published by I. Bunce. This was a 
non-partisan paper, but proved unsuccessful, and upon May 12, 
1819, the Litchfield Republican was commenced. In 1821 the 
Miscellany, in continuation of the Litchfield Republican 
appeared in a smaller size sheet than the former paper. This 
continued until Feb. 2, 1822, when 'for one year from this date 
the profits arising from the circulation of this paper are 
bestowed on a young man of this village in order to assist in 
completing his education'. The Miscellany, or Juvenile Folio, 
was "published on Feb. 9, 1822. The following is taken from 
the 6th of March 1822: 'The Miscellany or Juvenile Folio is 
published at I. Bunce's bookstore by the proprietor. The profits 
of the circulation are for one year transferred to Henry Ward. 
Terms, 871/2 cents at the ofi'ice. No paper to be discontinued 
until arrearages are paid'. On July 31, 1822, H. Ward 'abandons 
the paper' and for a time there was none published. I. Bunce, 
as publisher and editor, on Sept. 9, 1822, commenced the publi- 
cation of the American Eagle, which was moved to New Haven 
on March 7, 1826. 

THE DEMOCRAT. Melzar Gardner, Publisher. Began Nov. 3, 
1833. Discontinued Sept. 13, 1834. 

THE SUN. John M. Baldwin, Publisher and Printer. This paper 
commenced on Feb. 7, 1835, and continued under the same man- 
agement until Sept. 9, 1837, when S. G. Hayes became printer and 
publisher. From June 9, to Oct. 6, 1838, it was discontinued, 
and the last issue of the paper is April 20, 1839. 


THE MEKCUEY. C. E. Morse and Co., Printers. This paper 
began its existence on Jan. 16, 1840, and on Aug. 20, 1840, was 
sold to Josiah Giles, who became editor and publisher. The 
Mercury was discontinued on April 7, 1842. Josiah Giles began 
on Jan. 20, 1844, the publication of the Democratic Watchman, 
which was discontinued the same year. 

LITCHFIELD EEPUBLICAA^. J. K. Averill began the New Mil- 
ford Kepublican in 1845, and the next year moved to Litchfield 
where he continued his paper under the name of Litchfield Eepub- 
lican. He afterwards, 1856, moved to Falls Village, and con- 
tinued his paper as the Housatonic Eepublican. After he 
moved away, W. F. and G. H. Baldwin continued the paper as 
publishers and proprietors. With the 13th number Henry 
Ward appeared as editor, but in 1853 Albert Stoddard became 
editor and publisher, Avith Henry Ward as associate. On Sept. 
14, 1854, Franklin Hull was publisher, Avith himself and Henry 
Ward as editors, and on April 4, 1856, Franklin Hull assumed 
full charge as editor and publisher. 

LITCHFIELD SENTINEL. Published in Litchfield by John D. 
Champlin Jr., as editor. Vol. No. 1, is dated 1865. Champlin 
continued as editor until February 2, 1866, when he associated 
with him George H. Baldwin, who published the paper. On 
February 3, 1867 Champlin again took charge of the paper and 
continued it alone until April 30, 1869, when Solon B. Johnson 
took up the paper as editor. John E. Farnham bought the 
paper in 1869, and continued the publication until May 7, 1875. 

THE LITCHFIELD ENQUIEEE. The Litchfield County Post was 
established in 1825 by Stephen S. Smith from Poultney, Vt. 
He disposed of the establishment to Joshua Garrett, who after 
publishing the Post for a few weeks sold out to Henry Adams. 
In 1829, Mr. Adams changed the name of the paper to the 
Litchfield Enquirer, which it still bears. During this time 
it was a five-column folio. It was the only regular paper 
published in Litchfield county. Mr, Adams was drowned while 
fishing in Bantam Lake and was the only editor who died "in 
the harness". He was immediately succeeded by his brother, 
Chas. Adams, in 1843, In October, 1845, the paper was sold 
to Payne Kenyon Kilbourne, who conducted it until "ill health 
caused by many arduous duties caused him to sell" in March, 
1853. The new proprietor, H. W. Hyatt, changed the heading 
from plain block style to the same as the text which has been 
used ever since. In March, 1856, the size was changed to a 
larger sheet. On Sept 4, 1856, he sold to Edward C. Goodwin. 
On May 1, 1858, Chas. Adams again took the editorship and 
associated with him Henry E. B. Betts. Oct. 13, 1859, James 
Humphrey Jr., bought the paper, and his foreman was Alex- 
ander B, Shumway, who held that position under succeeding 


owners practically up to the time of his death, February, 1912, 
excepting- when he was in service during the Civil War. Mr. 
Humphrey enlarged the paper to seven columns, a little smaller 
than the present paper. In 1865, the paper passed into the 
hands of Wing and Shumway, under whose management it 
remained for one year, when Geo. A. Hickox bought the paper 
and secured Mr. Wing as editor. One year later Mr. Hickox 
commenced the duties of proprietor and editor, which he con- 
tinued for twenty five years and changed its size. In 1891 
he sold the paper to O. K. Dufifie Jr. In October, 1894, it 
was sold to George C. Woodruff, who has since continued the 
paper. Mr. Woodruff immediately changed the make-up of the 
paper and in February, 1918, enlarged it to its present size of 
eight pages of six columns each. 

George C. Woodruff (Jr.), Editor Litchfield Enquirer 

'^■r^' J^ 


"* .' -i" ' -1» 

Frederick Wolcott 



In his Memorial Address about tlie late Governor Koger Wol- 
cott of Massachusetts, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge said of the Wol- 
cott family: "We have one of the rare instances of a family which 
starting in America with a man of fortune and good estate always 
retained its position in the community. In the main line at least 
it never encountered the vicissitudes which attend nearly all families 
in the course of two hundred and fifty years. The name has never 
dropped out of sight, but was always borne uj) by its representa- 
tive in the same place in society as that held by the founder. More 
remarkable still, in almost every generation there was at least one 
of the lineal male descendants of the first immigrant who rose to 
the very highest positions in military, political and judicial life. 
The list of Judges, Governors, Generals, Cabinet officers and mem- 
bers of Congress in this pedigree is a long and striking one. From 
the days of the Somersetshire gentleman to those of the present 
generation, which has given a Governor to Massachusetts and a bril- 
liant Senator from Colorado to the United States, the Wolcotts, 
both as soldiers and civilians, have rendered service to their country;, 
as eminent as it has been unbroken. . . . Here is a long roll of honor 
where the son felt that he would be unworthy of his father if he 
did not add fresh lustre to the name he bore by service to his state 
and country either in the hour of trial or in the pleasant paths of 

This was the heritage of Oliver Wolcott Sr., when he first came 
to Litchfield in 1751; just as it has been the heritage of every mem- 
ber of the family before and since. He belonged to the fourth 
generation of Wolcotts in this country, the original settler, Henry 
Wolcott, who came over from Somersetshire in 1630, being his great- 
grand-father. His father was Eoger Wolcott, Governor of Con- 
necticut from 1750-54. So far as we can now tell, the attention of 
Roger Wolcott was first directed towards Litchfield in 1725, when 
John Marsh and others presented their Memorial to the General 
Court asking that the non-resident Proprietors of the town be made 
responsible for their share of its defence and support. Major 
Roger Wolcott was appointed to the Committee to consider the 
Memorial and soon after, when non-residents who failed in their 
duties to the new settlement were to be deprived of their rights in 
the town, he was appointed chairman of the Committee "to take 
account of all forfeitures that shall arise by force of this act, 
and upon the non-payment of the same, to make sale of the lands" 


in question. Later he purchased a farm on South Street, includ- 
ing the present Wolcott property and considerable land on the 
other side of the Street. No account remains of his having been in 
Litchfield in person, though it would seem very probable that he 
had been here, either in connection with his appointment of 1725, 
or to visit his farm, or to visit his son after the latter came to 
Litchfield in 1751. 

Roger Wolcott died May 17, 1767. In his Will, dated July 18, 
1761, he left to Oliver "all my land in Litchfield, and all my land 
in Hartford, and all my land in Colebrook, and all my land ia 
Windsor that lies in the Equiuelent to him & his heirs forever. I 
also give him my Silver Can". 

Oliver Wolcott Sr. began his career as a physician. When ii, 
seemed probable that the seat of the new County would be fixed at 
Goshen, he went there and began practice, but as sooh as the County 
Seat was established at Litchfield he came here. He was chosen 
Sheriff of the new County, 1751. 

The following account of him is given by his friend, James 
Morris, (p. 108-9) : "He was born in Windsor, December 1726. . . . 
He represented the town in the General Assenibly, in the year 
1770. In the year 1772, he was chosen a member of the Council. 
In 1772, he was appointed Judge of Probate, for the district of 
Litchfield. In the year 1774, he was appointed Judge of the Court 
of Common Pleas. In the year 1775, he was chosen a Represnta- 
tive in Congress, and was present at the declaration of Indepen- 
dence. He continued a member of the Council till the year 1786, 
and was then chosen Lieutenant Governor of this State. In 

this office he continued till the year 1796, and was then chosen 
Governor; and in this office he died December 1, 1797. The 

duties of all these stations, he discharged with unshaken integrity 
and firmness; courted favors from no man, and neither sought, 
nor obtained, any end by intrigue, or from interested motives. 
He was singularly modest, and even diffident, in his intercourse 
with men, in the common walks of life. Those who best knew^ this 
gentleman, well knew that the highest trust Avas never improperly 
placed in him. Two questions only were asked by him, while discharg- 
ing the duties of the several offices of high responsibility which he 
held, viz, What is right? and, Wliat is my duty? He possessed a 
benevolent heart, and was warm in his friendships; a firm friend 
to order; a promoter of peace; a lover of religion; and a tried, 
unshaken friend to the institutions of the Gospel. He was an 
indefatigable student ; and neither wasted his time nor his words. 
His mind was clear and penetrating; his views of political sub- 
jects, just and comprehensive; his discernment of the wisest means 
to promote the best ends, ready and exact; and his acquaintance 
with science, particularly with Theology, extensive. He had a 
remarkable talent at investigations, and nothing satisfied him but 
proof. He has left a name, which is a sweet savor to his surviving 


1^0 mention of Oliver Wolcott Sr. is adequate, whicli fails to 
speak of his wife, Lorraine, or Laura, daughter of Capt. Daniel 
Collins, of Guildford. She was related, though not closely, to 
Timothy Collins, the first minister in Litchfield. She was a 

woman of remarkable strength of character and executive ability. 
Oliver Wolcott's long absences in the discharge of his many varied 
duties were made possible primarily by her capable handling of 
the home. She cared for the children, directed the servants and 
slaves, managed the farm, kept up the hopes of her circle through 
the most trying days of the Eevolution, with an unshaken faith 
and energy which it is not easy to picture to-day. 

There were five children. Oliver, born 1757, who died an infant ; 
Oliver, born January 11, 1760; Laura, born 1761, who mar- 
ried William Mosely of Hartford; Mariann, born 1765, who mar- 
ried Chauncey Goodrich of Hartford, afterwards Lieutenant-Gov- 
ernor of the State; and Frederick, born November 2, 1767. 

Oliver Wolcott Jr. left an autobiographical sketch of his boy- 
hood in Litchfield, written when he was over seventy years old, 
which is so interesting both as a picture of Litchfield from a boy's 
point of view, and as a picture of the boy who was to become so 
distinguished, that it is unfortunate that it cannot be included here 
entire. It Avill be found in the Wolcott Memorial, pp. 222-227, and 
should be read by all, especially the account of his trip to New 

"My Mother and Grandmother learned me to speak early; I 
could read before I was four years old, and was proud of my 
acquirements. The School House was in the street near the N. W. 
corner of my Father's Home-Lot, and was about twenty rods from 
home. The street was nine or ten rods wide, and the hillocks were 
covered with Avhortleberry bushes, which were tall enough to hide a 
young man or boy from observation. It was an excellent place for 
truants, and used for that purpose by many of the larger Boys 
of the School. When I had attained the age of six or seven years, 
I was told that it was time for me to go to School, and was flattered 
by my Mother that my learning exceeded that of Boys twice my 
age. I was accordingly dressed in my Sunday habit, and set out, 
Avhip in hand, on a Monday morning. I was the smallest and 
most slender boy who appeared, with a pale face and white hair. 
The Master was a stout, rough man, and I think it probable that he 
was a foreigner. When I was called before him, he, judging from 
appearances, took me between his knees, and with a ferule and 
Dilworth's Spelling Book in his hand, offered to instruct me in 
spelling words of several sjdlables. My astonishment and indigna- 
tion exceeded all bounds; I considered it as the greatest possible 
indignity. I had no conception that a Schoolmaster, whom I deemed 
a great personage, could be so ignorant as not to knoAV that I 
could read in the Testament. I remained mute, and stifled my 
proud sobs as well as I was able. The Master supposed that he 


had put me too far forward, and turned me back to words of one 
syllable. My Avrath increased, and I continued silent. He tried 
me in tlie Alphabet; and as I remained silent, he told me that 
I came to learn to read, and that I must repeat the words after 
him, or he Avould whip me. He actually struck me, supposing me 
to be obstinately mute; my sobs nearly broke my heart, and I was 
ordered to my seat. Some of the boys tried to console me, and 
others laughed. I left the School with the most decided disgust, 
resolved never to enter it again. 

"I evaded going to School as long as possible; and when I did 
go, I hid myself in the bushes. At length the Master enquired why 
I had left the School. This brought out my explanation; and 
such were my hori'or and antipathy, that my parents judged it 
proper to excuse me, and I was soon sent to another School, kept 
by a Miss Patterson, whose mild and conciliating manners attracted 
my affections, ... At about eleven years of age I went to the Gram- 
mar School, which was kept by Nathaniel Brown Beckwith, a 
graduate of Yale College. ... I was far from being a student. One 
of the eldest and stoutest Boys was still less so; he and the Master 
were attached to Fishing and Hunting. Trouts, Partridges, Quail, 
Squirrels both grey and black, and in the season Pigeons and Ducks, 
were in great abundance. To these sports all our holidays were 
devoted, and I engaged in them with great alacrity, in which the 
Master joined on the footing of an equal. In this course I con- 
tinued till, in the summer of 1773, Master Beckwith pronounced me 
fit to enter College. ... 

"When I got back to Litchfield", he had made the trip to New 
Haven and wisely decided not to enter the College for another year, 
"it took a long time to recount all the wonders I had seen, — the 
grandeur of New Haven, its numerous Streets, beautiful Trees, 
Shrubbery and Flowers in the House Yards, the Vessels at the 
Long Wharf, and the peculiar dress and language of the Mariners. 
With one of these I had formed an involuntary acquaintance, which 
cost me a shilling. The wharves of a mud harbor presented no 
prospect of the Sea; to mend my prospect, I climbed a part of the 
way up one of the strands, when I felt a Sailor below me, who was 
tying one of my legs to Avhat I considered a rope ladder. He did 
it mildly and silently. As I could move neither up nor down, I 
soon began to lament, which brought my companions to my aid. 
They desired the Sailor to untie and let me down. He enquired 
who I was, and why I had climbed his Vessel without his liberty. 
I assured him that I intended no harm, and was ignorant that I 
was doing wrong; that I was a boy from the Country, and having 
seen the sea on coming to New Haven, I was desirous of seeing its 
shores. The sailor said, that as it was the first time I had been 
on board a Sea Vessel, and had seen and smelt the Salt Water, I 
ought to pay what he called beverage; that he would require but 
a Shilling, though if I was a Scholar, he would exact three Shillings. 
I agreed with joy to his demand, and was instantly let down, amidst 


the hearty laughter of his comrades; it seemed no unusual occur- 
rence, so my friends joined in the joke. The Sailor told me that 
no person ought to pay twice, and that if I found myself tied up 
again, and called upon him, he would see me liberated without 
expense. When I had recounted my travelling News to my School 
Mates, I was advised to resume my Studies, and repeat my travel- 
ling Stories out of School hours, which I thought but reasonable. . . . 

"I had now passed the infantine period, and was between thir- 
teen and fourteen years of age. I was no longer a Child, but a 
Boy, and hoped soon to be a Man. I found myself useful to my 
Mother. I could drive Cows to and from Pasture, ride the Cart 
Horse to Mill, bring in light wood and chips for the kitchen lire, 
and rock the Cradle, when necessary. . . . 

"Sunday was to me the most uncomfortable day of the Week, 
from the confinement in dress and locomotion which it imposed 
on me. After Prayers and Breakfast, I was taken by my Mother 
to the Wash Tub, and thoroughly scrubbed with Soap and Water 
from head to foot. I was then dressed in my Sunday Habit, 
which, as I was growing fast, was almost constantly too small. 
My usual dress, at other times, was a thin pair of Trousers, and a 
Jacket of linsey-woolsey; and I wore no shoes, except in frosty 
weather. On Sunday morning, I was robed in a Scarlet Cloth 
Coat with Silver Buttons, a white Silk Vest, white Cotton Stock- 
ings, tight Shoes, Euffles at the Breast of my Jacket, and a cocked 
Beaver Hat with gold lace Band. In this attire I was marched 
to the Meeting House, with orders not to soil my Clothes, and to 
sit still, and by no means to play during meeting-time. 

"Parson Champion succeeded Parson Collins, our first Minister, 
Doctor, and Justice of the Peace. Mr. Champion was a pleasant, 
affable man, and a sonorous, animated Preacher. I liked loud 
preaching, and suffered only from the confinement of my Sunday 
dress. Mr. Champion not unfrequently exchanged Sunday services 
with a neighboring Parson, whose performances were most uncom- 
fortable. They were dull, monotonous, and very long; in the after- 
noon they frequently extended to two hours. As I was not allowed 
to sleep during nieeting-time, my sufferings were frequentlj^ extreme. 

"After service, new toils awaited me. Our Sunday was in fact 
the old Jewish Sabbath, and continued from sunset to sunset. In 
the interval, from the end of services in the Meeting House till 
Sunset, my Father read to the Family from the Bible or some 
printed Sermon, and when he had done, I was examined by my 
Mother in the Assembly's Shorter Catechism. When this task was 
ended, I Avas allowed to resume my ordinary Habit. It exhilarates 
my spirit, even at present, to think of the ecstacies I enjoyed when 
I put on my Jacket and Trousers, and quit my Stockings and Shoes. 
I used to run to the Garden LaAvn or into the orchard; I would 
leap, run, lie down on the grass, in short, play all the gambols of a 
fat calf, when loosened from! confinement". 


After liis services in tlie Eevolution, lie left Litchfield in 1781 
and ''i)roceeded to Hartford, wliere lie accepted a clerksMp in the 
office of the Commissioners of the Pay Table. The following year 
he was appointed one of the board. In May 1784 he was selected 
one of the commissioners to adjust the claims of Connecticut against 
the United States; his colleagues were Oliver Ellsworth and Wil- 
liam Samuel Johnson. 

"The abolishment of the Commissioners of the Pay Table caused 
him to be appointed in 1788 Comptroller of Public Accounts; this 
office he resigned to become Auditor of the United States Treasury. 
He was afterwards made Comptroller and in the spring of 1791 he 
declined the presidency of the United States Bank. On the resig- 
nation of Alexander Hamilton as Secretary of the Treasury in 1795, 
Governor Wolcott succeeded him, holding the office until November 
8, 1800. Two years later he removed to New York City, engaged 
in mercantile pursuits, ammassed a fortune, and became the first 
president of the Bank of North America. After the close of the 
second war with England, he returned to his native town, where 
in company with his brother he founded large woolen mills near 
Torrington. For ten consecutive years he was elected to the 
gubernatorial chair; on his retirement from this office, he returned 
to New York City, where he died June 1, 1833. Governor Wolcott 
was the last survivor of Washington's Cabinet, and the last link in 
the chain that represented the principles of the founders of the 
republic". (Connecticut as a Colony and a State, by Forest Mor- 
gan, 1904, Vol. Ill, pp. 108-9). 

The late Hon. Joseph Hopkinson, one of his distinguished 
political associates, thus wrote respecting him: — 

"Oliver Wolcott was a man of a cheerful, even playful, disposi- 
tion. His conversation was interesting and earnest, but gay unless 
the occasion was unfit for gaiety. He enjoyed a good joke from 
himself or another, and his laugh was hearty and frequent. He 
delighted in the discussion of literary subjects, and the works of 
distinguished authors, and was particularly fond of poetry. . . . His 
domestic life was most exemplary; his greatest happiness was in 
his family, with the friends Avho congregated there. His devotion 
to the business and duties of his office was severe and unremitting. 
He possessed, in a high degree, a very rare qualification, the capacity 
for continued hard work, and was in everything systematic and 
orderly. His attachments to his friends were strong and lasting, 
never taxing them with unreasonable exactions. He was open and 
direct in all his dealings, without duplicity or intrigue in any- 
thing; his sincerity was sure, he deceived nobody. His political 
opinions were the honest convictions of a man of undoubted integrity, 
of distinguished intelligence and high attainments, and, above all, 
of a true and sincere lover of his Country". (Wolcott Memorial, 
p. 307). 

His home in Litchfield, during the short periods of his resi- 
dence there, was always the scene of a large hospitality of which he 


was the presiding genius. He lived in the house built in 1799 by 
Elijah Wadsworth on a part of the Wolcott farm. Pie enlarged 
the house considerably in 1817. The house was later that of Col. 
George B. Sanford, and is now owned by Mrs. Harry G. Day. 

We insert here a quotation from a 'Letter of Digestion' of that 
day, written by Josiah Quincy, Boston, September 30, 1801, after 
a visit to the house: "Sir; We reached home in four days from 
Litchfield, and found nothing terrible on the Hartford side of your 
hills; nothing which the recollection of the attention and pleasure 
we had received from our visit did not make appear trifling 
obstacles. It is imjDossible for Mrs. Quincy and I (sic) not to 
reckon the time passed at your house as the most delightful part 
of our excursion, as well as not to dwell upon your promise to give 
us in the Spring, by a long visit, a chance of returning a few 
of those many kindnesses which you and Mrs. Wolcott found means 
to extend in so short a time. ..." 

The fact that Governor Wolcott had been elected on the Demo- 
cratic or Toleration ticket set him apart a little from some of the 
most uncompromisingly Federalist ; families. The second Mrs. 
Lyman Beecher, on first coming to Litchfield (December 1817) wrote 
of him: "The Governor resides here. He has honored me with a 
call. He is a Toleration man. Comes half a day to meeting and 
no more, . . . We heai'd the Governor was going to invite us to his 
house, but at a party where we went, he did not like our manage- 
ment of closing the evening with prayer and singing, and so has 
given it up". 

Oliver Wolcott Jr. married in 1785 Elizabeth, only daughter of 
Capt. John Stoughton. They had five sons and two daughters, 
but with the death of the sons, three of them in infancy, and of 
two grandsons, his male line reached an untimely end. 

Mrs. Oliver Wolcott Jr. was a very beautiful and charming 
woman. When he announced his engagement to his father, the 
elder Wolcott answered: "Litchfield, January 10, 1785, Sir: Your 
letter of the fourth instant is received. The Character of the 
young Lady, whom you mention as the Object of your Affection, 
justifies your Choice, and receives the Approbation of your Par- 
ents. And if you shall wait upon her here, when you shall come to 
see us, it will increase the pleasure of the Visit. Yours, Oliver 

The testimony to her beauty is uniA^ersal. In the diarj' of 
Caroline Chester, a pupil at Miss Pierce's in 1816, (Vanderpoel, p. 
153), we read: "Mrs. Wolcott called and very politely asked Mrs. 
Sheldon to permit me to take tea with her. . . . The party was 
large. Though Mrs. Wolcott was the only married woman in the 
room, yet no one would have thought her the oldest for she looked 
very beautiful". 

She "belonged to a class of women of whom Connecticut could 
then boast many, whose minds were formed, and habits of reflection 
directed by men; and without coming within the category of female 


politicians, they had been almost from childhood familiar with 
questions of public and general interest. An anecdote of Uriah 
Tracy, whose sarcasms were of old dreaded alike in the Senate Cham- 
ber and the drawing-room, has been preserved, commemorative at 
once of Mrs. Wolcott's attractions and his own peculiar wit. Mr. 
Liston, the British Minister, who was thorougiy English in his 
ideas, on some occasion remarked to him: 'Your countrywoman, 
Mrs. Wolcott, would be admired even at St. James'. 'Sir', retorted 
the Senator from Connecticut, 'she is admired even on Litchfield 
Hill!'" (Gibbs, Federal Administration, Vol. I, p. 162). 

That Litchfield girls and women are unusually beautiful is a 
statement the truth of which has been confined to no single gener- 
ation. We are as proud of it to-day, as ever was Mr. Tracy. It is 
interesting to trace the growth of the observation of this happy 
phenomenon. In the diary of a Law student, George Younglove 
Cutler, August 18, 1820, (Vanderpoel, p. 195), we read: "Evening, 
Miss Tallmadge here — is certainly elegant — there is no such woman 
in New Haven — Litchfield is certainly an extraordinary place for 
beauty — the mountain air gives them the expression of health & 
that is the principal ingredient". 

We think too that perhaps even Lyman Beecher had heard about 
the ladies of Litchfield, for immediately after arriving here, March 
5, 1810, he wrote at once to reassure Mrs. Beecher: "There are many 
agreeable women here, but none so handsome or pleasing as to 
occasion a momentary wandering of my heart from the object where 
it has so long and with such satisfaction rested". (Autobiography, 
Vol. L p. 190). 

Good, faithful Mr. Beecher; all the newcomers to Litchfield 
have not been as constant ! When James Gould first came to Litch- 
field, he was present one day at the Court House. Uriah Tracy 
was in the Court room, and watched the handsome young lawyer 
with admiration. He asked him to lunch, at his home where possi- 
bly his daughter surprised him by monopolizing some of Mr, 
Gould's attention. We can let Mariann Goodrich tell the rest, 
just as she wrote it to her favorite brother, Frederick Wolcott, in 
1794, (Wolcott Memorial, p. 333) : "New Haven folks, especially 
the women, are most terribly angry at Mr. G. for quitting Miss W. 
They say he has been engaged to her seven years, and now he writes 
her a civil letter informing her that he has been so unfortunate as 
to fall in love with Sally T., and cannot possibly fulfill his promise 
to her Ladyship — and so wishing her a great deal of happiness he 
bids her adieu. I had several reasons for taking the man's part, 
which I did with some zeal. I told them it had always been an 
established practice with the Litchfield Ladies to steal the hearts 
of all the Gentlemen who came here, and that I thought a New 
Haven Lady must have a degree of modest assurance to expect 
to keep her sweet-heart after he had seen the Litchfield beauties!" 

The friendship between the charming and very sprightly Mari- 
ann Wolcott and her brother Frederick continued as warm after 


she married Chauiicey Goodrich, and their letters form one of the 
most fascinating chapters in the delightful Wolcott Memoirs. They 
are not adapted for quotation in a history concerned primarily with 
Litchfield, and we must turn rather to speak of Frederick Wolcott 
as a citizen. He is described as having been a very retiring and 
modest man, almost diffident, taking after his father in that respect, 
but in the discharge of many public duties in Litchfield he was 
very active. He was for instance our County Clerk for forty three 
years, surpassing his immediate predecessor, Isaac Baldwin by just 
one year of service. These two men held the office consecutively 
from the formation of the County, 1751, until the year before Fred- 
erick Wolcott's death, 1836, eighty five years in all. Frederick Wol- 
cott was also Judge of Probate for forty one years. He declined 
the nomination for Governor of the State on two occasions, when 
it was tendered him by a convention of his political friends; in both 
cases their final nominee was elected. Probably no man in the 
State had a stronger hold on the confidence and regard of his fel- 
low-citizens. He felt that his health was inadequate to the cares 
and responsibilities of positions more important than the many 
which he discharged so well. He also loved his home in Litch- 
field and was loath at any time to leave it and the pleasures of his 
family life there. He lived in his father's house, which, after 
having been out of the family for some years, is now owned by 
his grand-daughter. Miss Alice Wolcott of New York. 

Frederick Wolcott was twice married, first in 1800 to Betsey, 
daughter of Col. Joshua Huntington of Norwich, who died in 1812, 
and in 1815 to Mrs. Sally Worthington Cooke, daughter of Kev. 
Samuel Goodrich. He had four daughters and five sons. One of 
the latter was the donor of the fund which made possible the estab- 
lishment of the Public Library here. 

His four daughters and his second wife were especially known 
for their many varied charms. Mrs. Wolcott was fitted for Yale 
College when she was twelve years of age, and cried because she 
could not enter that institution. In Litchfield, with her daughter 
and three step-daughters she is said to have "sat as a queen sur- 
rounded by her maids of honor". 

Of the four Wolcott girls, E. D. Mansfield, wrote, (Personal 
Memories, 1879, pp. 129-130), "One of my temptations to an after- 
noon walk was to meet the girls, who, like ourselves, were often 
seen taking their daily walk. Among these, were the Wolcotts, the 
Demings, the Tallmadges, the Landons, and Miss Peck, who after- 
wards became my wife. ... Of the Wolcotts there were four, and 
I think now, as I did then, that I never beheld more beautiful 
women than were Hannah and Mary Ann Wolcott. Many a time 
have I met them on North Street when it was a pleasure to look 
upon them, with the clearest complexions of white and red, the 
brightest eyes, with tall and upright forms, and graceful walk. 
These ladies would have attracted admiration in any place of the 
world. The two other Wolcotts were also very handsome". 


Mary Ann Wolcott, who afterwards was very liappily married to 
Asa Whitehead of New Jersey, must not be confused with her 
charming Aunt, Mariann Wolcott Goodrich. At this time, 1820, 
Mary Ann had an unfortunate love affair with Henry W. Livingston, 
a very wealthy Law student from ISTew York. "T remember", writes 
George Y^'ounglove Cutler, (Vanderpoel, p. 197-8), "when he first 
went to Litchfield, I was in his room opposite M. A.'s door, we 
were looking out and saw them — she & the amiable Hannah — L. 
remarked, 'I suppose these young ladies, i. e. the ladies of this 
village, depend upon law students for their husbands — I will be 
very careful they do not ensnare me' — within three weeks he was 
engaged to M. A. & talked to me of Father W." 

The engagement was summarily broken a few weeks later. "It 
is probably the interference of friends", continued Cutler, "who 
have caused the mishap in this case — if I was an Emj)eror I would 
hang such a man". Though the affair caused a great excitement 
at the time, Mary Ann Wolcott was undoubtedly fortunate and she 
took the experience with the spirit characteristic of her family. Six 
weeks later Cutler could write: "A charming visit at Mary Ami 
W's — how interesting! how beautiful! how much improved in her 
personal appearance. I could not help telling her my opinion — In 
return she reciprocated my compliments — which I always like — 
she is one of the finest looking females I ever saw". 



The question is sometimes asked whether slaA^'ery was ever gen- 
eral in Litchfield. We find no evidence that it was. After the 
Kevoiution slaves were still employed quite generally in the North, 
but the majority of families in our town were not in a position to 
keep slaves, even if they had been inclined to do so. Probably the 
greatest number of slaves here was during the ten years following 
the war. In 1800, there were only seven left in the town, and 
probabl}^ the last one was emancipated soon after that date. The 
sentiment in the North was undergoing a rapid change at this time. 
Earlier, the keeping of slaves had been a matter of course; but at 
this date, both law and sentiment were turning with increasing 
momentum against the custom. George C. Woodruff, in his Eesi- 
dents of Litchfield, gives a list of 29 slaves, with their owners' 
names, and their dates of birth, ranging from 1777 to 1801. 

Two Tallmadge receipts for young slaves are preserved. One 
is a bill of sale from John Shethar for 36 pounds for a negro boy 
named Prince, seven years old, dated May 19, 1784. The other is 
a bill of sale from Ezra L'Homniedieu, for a negro girl named Jane, 
thirteen years old, dated March 10, 1787. 

In the Wolcott household, the slaves, and later the free colored 
servants were apparently numerous. There is an interesting letter 
from Oliver Wolcott Jr., to his mother, written from New York two 
months after the marriage of his sister Mariann: ''I can easily 
judge", he says in part, "from my own feelings, that your own 
situation, since the removal of my Sister, must be in some respects 
lonely and disagreeable. But as you will be able to hear frequently 
from her, and must be perfectly satisfied with the character of Mr. 
Goodrich, I feel not so much anxiety on that account, as from the 
multiplied attention which joxi will give to the family servants, 
with which you are burdened. I must request that your humanity 
to them be not so particular as to suffer your health to be impaired 
on their account. If any measures consistent with propriety can 
be taken, to prevent an increase of that kind of trouble, it is surely 
your duty to attempt them". (Wolcott Memorial, p. 237, Letter of 
December 21, 1789). 

It would appear from this letter that the Litchfield slaves were 
very kindly looked after. This is confirmed by the lack of notices 
in the press of run-away slaves. Only one of these is established: 
In the Witness for October 23, 1805, John Bird of South Farms 


advertised a $20. reward: "Kan away on tlie 21st instant about 
midnight, a man slave, by name Tom, wbo has long lived with my 
father, Doct. Bird", This advertisement was continued weekly 
for upwards of three months, so that Tom probablj^ was not found. 

In the Monitor of June 7, 1797, David Welch of Milton adver- 
tised for the return of "a mulatto servant Jep 21 years old, about 
five feet 7 or 8 inches high, understands the trade of a Bloomer, will 
probably seek employment in that business". But this was not 
necessarily a slave. 

The consideration of the Litchfield slave owners in liberating 
their slaves when they considered them able to look out for them- 
selves is shown in the following document of the elder Oliver Wol- 
cott, notable also for its early date: 

"Know all men by these Presents that I Oliver Wolcott of Litch- 
field in the State of Connecticut in expectation that my negro Servant 
Man Caesar will by his industry be able to obtain a comfortable 
subsistence for Himself and that he will make a ijroper use of the 
Freedom which I hereby give him Do Discharge liberate and set 
free him the said Caesar and do hereby exempt him from any further 
Obligation of servitude to me my heirs and from every other person 
claiming Authority over him by from or under me — and that my 
said servant whom I now make free as aforesaid may be known 
hereafter by a proper Cognomen I hereby give him the name of 
Jamus so that hereafter he is to be known and distinguished by the 
name of Caesar Jamus. As Witness my Hand and Seal in Litch- 
field November 23, A. D. 1786". 

As the slaves were freed they became in many cases useful and 
desirable members of our community. At least three figure on the 
Honor Roll of the Eevolution. These are Cash Africa, George 
Negro, and Jack Negro. The name of the first of these is so unusual 
that we would gladly know more of him. After the War, May 19, 
1788, we find a contract between him and Col. Tallmadge for services. 
One Jeph Africa lies in the East Cemetery, and the stone is still 
legible: "Here lies the body of Jeph Africa, servant of the Rev. 
Judah Champion, who died June the 5tli, 1793". This stone appears 
to have caught the eye of Nathaniel Hawthorne when he visited 
Litchfield in 1838, though if it be the same one he misread it; the 
page he devotes to Litchfield is so interesting as giving his impres- 
sions that it is here quoted at length, though concerned with matters 
not immediately pertinent to the story of Africa: (Am. Notebooks, 
Wayside Edition, p. 201). 

"In Connecticut, and also sometimes in Berkshire, the villages 
are situated on the most elevated ground that can be found, so that 
they are visible for miles around. Litchfield is a remarkable instance, 
occupying a high plain, without the least shelter from the winds, 
and with almost as wide an expanse of view as from a mountainr 
top. The streets are very wide, two or three hundred feet, at 
least, with wide, green margins, and sometimes there is a wide 


green space between the two road tracks. Nothing can be neater 
than the churches and houses. The graveyard is on the slope, and at 
the foot of a swell, filled with old and new gravestones, some of 
red freestone, some of grey granite, most of them of white marble, 
and one of cast-iron with an inscription of raised letters. There 
was one of the date of about 1776, on which was represented the 
third-length, bas-relief portrait of a gentleman in a wig and other 
costume of that day; and as a framework about this portrait was 
wreathed a garland of vine-leaves and heavy clusters of grapes. 
The deceased should have been a jolly bottleman; but the epitaph 
indicated nothing of the kind. 

"In a remote part of the graveyard, remote from the main body 
of dead people, I noticed a humble, mossy stone, on which I traced 
out 'To the memory of Julia Africa, servant of Eev.' somebody. 
There were also the half obliterated traces of other graves, without 
any monuments, in the vicinity of this one. Doubtless the slaves 
here mingled their dark claj^ with the earth. 

"At Litchfield there is a Doctor who undertakes to cure deformed 
people — and humpbacked, lame, and otherwise defective folk go there. 
Besides these, there were many ladies and others boarding there, 
for the benefit of the air, I suppose". While on this digression, it 
should be added that the hospital for cripples here referred to was 
at the present Mrs. W. H. Sanford house. It was established in 
1832 by Dr. Alanson Abbe. 

Of the Africa family we know nothing further. In the Wood- 
ruff list we find a slave, Cash, belonging to Col. Ebenezer Marsh. 
It may be that he accompanied Col. Marsh to the War, and so 
gained his position on the Honor Eoll. Col. Marsh had another 
slave, Nim, the first colored man in town, reputed to have killed 
three deer at one shot. 

Evidence of Litchfield's reputation for generous treatment of 
slaves, if any were needed, is furnished by the story of Old Grimes, 
here abbreviated from Kilbourn's Bench and Bar, pp. 329-330: 

William Grimes was a run-away slave who came to Litchfield 
about 1808, and became a general servant to the students at the 
Law School. Judge Eeeve had acquired a reputation for defend- 
ing fugitive slaves, and several came here simply from hearing about 
him. Grimes was thrifty and bought a piece of land west of the 
Fire Department building, to which he moved a small building 
which he used as a barber shop. His former master found him 
out some fifteen years later and attempted to recover him. He was 
obliged to dispose of his property through his friends, Dr. Abel 
Catlin and William H. Thompson, who used the proceeds to purchase 
his freedom. He left Litchfield and removed to New Haven, where 
he continued to serve the students at Yale College. He published 
a sketch of his life, and always seemed to enjoy his own picturesque- 
ness. When Albert G. Green, of Ehode Island, afterwards United 
States Senator, was a student in Litchfield, he had the reputation 


of being a great rhymester. Old Grimes liearing of tliis importuned 
him to write a poem about him, which he did, and which became 
famous as an epitaph written before the fact. Kilbourn gives nine 
stanzas and there were perhaps more; here are four of them: 

Old Grimes is dead — that good old man, 
!/ We ne'er shall see him more; 

He used to wear a long black coat 
All buttoned down before. 

He lived in peace with all mankind, 

In friendship he was true; 
His coat had pocket-holes behind. 

His pantaloons were blue. 

But good old Grimes is now at rest, 

Nor fears misfortune's frown; 
He wore a double-breasted vest. 
The stripes ran up and down. 

His neighbors he did not abuse. 

Was sociable and gay; 
He wore large buckles on his shoes. 

And changed them every day. 

The last survivor of the freed slaves around Litchfield was 
probably Tom Jackson, a former slave of Col. Tallmadge, who lived 
with his Avife and a daughter on the Milton Road. He died there 
some time after 1857, 

Another class of servants, both white and colored, were known 
as Indented Servants. These were persons who sold their services 
for a definite period of time in return for a cash contract or some 
other equivalent. We find many of these old contracts. "Indenture 
for Mistic boy, named Ebo, from his mother to Benj. Tallmadge, 
April 7, 1785"; and again "Indenture between Benjamin Tallmadge 
and Euth Woodhull for services, November 25, 1788". More often 
young boys were indented as apprentices, pledging a certain period 
of service, in return for the teaching of a trade. Occasionally, men 
or boys who wished to come over to this country, sold themselves 
to the ship captains for their passage across the Atlantic. They 
were called Redemptioners. On arrival their pledged service in the 
form of an indenture would be resold by the captain at auction 
or private sale. Col. Matthew Lyon, who figured in public life as 
Congressman from Vermont and Kentucky, was an Irish boy who 
came over in this manner. He was sold for a pair of stags, valued 
at 12 pounds, to Hugh Hannah of Litchfield, and he stayed here 
for ten years before going to Vermont. He died August 1, 1822. 

Many apprentices ran away, and the columns of our early papers 
often contained advertisements for their return. They were prob- 
ably troublesome enough to their masters, and the small amounts 


of tlie rewards offered may indicate that the masters were not 
especially keen for their return, the advertisements being put in 
merely out of duty to the parents who had indentured them. The 
smallest reward noticed is for a girl : "Ran away from the subscriber 
on the 6th instant, an indented girl, 12 years old, by the name of 
Sarah Moss. She has blue eyes, light hair, and is hard of hearing. . . 
Whoever will return said Girl to the Subscriber shall have twenty 
cents reward and no charges paid. All persons are forbidden har- 
boring said girl on penalty of the Law. Reuben Webster. Litch- 
field, Aug. 9, 1805". (Witness). 

Indented servants could be sold, like slaves, for the unexpired 
terms of their contracts. We close this account of the servant 
problems of 120 years ago with a sample advertisement for a sale 
of this character: 

"For Sale. Eight Years and Six Months Service of an indented 
Mulatto Girl, at the expiration of which period she will be 21 
years and 6 months old. She is of middling size, strong and healthy, 
and has been brought up to housework. Her present owner not 
having sufficient employ for her, she will be sold on easy terms at 
the moderate price of 34 pounds, payable by instalments, in sheep 
or young cattle, for two thirds, the residue in cash. Inquire of the 
Printer", (Monitor, October 18, 1797). 



On May 9, 1789, a Temperance Association was formed in Liteli 
field in an endeavor, as tlie pledge signed on that occasion states, 
"to reform a practice which leads so many to poverty, distress 
and ruin". Such an Association would be of interest to us in 
any event owing to the very early date at which it was formed; 
but it gains added significance because it can be considered as pre- 
paring the soil in which Lyman Beecher, thirty seven years later, 
initiated his far more famous crusade against intemperance. It 
is perhaps well to say a little more about this pioneer movement 
than would be necessary had it led no further. 

In those early days drinking was considered an absolute neces- 
sity if only to counteract the rigorous climate of our hill country. 
Thus, for example, the very year of the Temperance Association, 
Oliver Wolcott Sr. writes from Litchfield in a letter of advice to 
his son, Oliver Jr., when the latter first went to New York as 
Auditor of the National Treasury, (Wolcott Memorial, pp. 185-6) : 
"November 24, 1789, Sir; . . . Your Service will be complicated and 
arduous . . . You may therefore safely indulge yourself with as 
much Exercise and Eelaxation, as will be necessary for your 
Health. Endeavor to preserve the mens sana in sano corpore, by 
indulging at times a certain Vacancy of Thought, etc. As to your 
Mode of Living, I need say but very little; your Habits of Temper- 
ance will render it unnecessary, only this you will recollect, that 
there are many old Men in Connecticut, who have drank Cider for 
three quarters of a Century, who are active and almost blooming, 
and exempt from all Gout, Kheumatism, and Stone; while the drink 
ers of beer and Spirits die soon, and in misery. Simple Diet and 
fermented Liquors, except rich Beer, will with the moderate use 
of water, be always found to be best, especially for sedentary 

It was not thought possible for the average workman to keep 
his health without a very considerable amount of rum or cider to 
restore the vitality consumed in his physical work; the non-laboring 
class also assumed that it could not live through a Litchfield wintei; 
without a large consumption of stimulants. It was a matter of 
much concern some years when the apple crop had been small, and 
when orchards at best were limited, how the necessary supply of 
cider was to be obtained. Among the letters of Oliver Wolcott Jr. 
to his brother, Frederick Wolcott, in the Litchfield Historical 


Society, is one from Washington specially urging liim to get an ade- 
quate supply from Harwinton while it was still possible to buy 
cider there. 

Even at the raising of the Meeting Houses no work could be 
done without a liberal distribution of rum. The classical instance 
of this occurs in connection with the raising of the second Church 
by the South Farms Society in 1785. In April of that year, the 
Society voted, "that the meeting house committee shall have good 
right to furnish Rum, Grindstones, and Eopes sufficient for framing 
the meeting house according to their best discretion". And in June 
of the same year, the Society appointed an Overseer, to direct the 
issue of liguor at the raising, and voted, "that the overseer shall 
give two drams per day to the spectators, one a little before noon, 
the other a little before night". They entered upon the work with 
Buch spirit, that the Meeting House was finished in twenty weeks 
after they began the frame. This distribution was a regular part 
of all community movements. The first attempt to do away with 
it was in connection with the raising in 1829 of the third Congre- 
gational Church, three years after Lyman Beecher had preached his 
Temperance Sermons, and it was not a success. "A hogshead of 
small beer had been brewed in the cellar of Galpin and Goodwin's 
store, across the street, an innovation which did not meet with 
popular approval. There was a crowd of people around the church 
cellar, but not enough hands could be found who would lift even 
the ground timbers into place. When the strike was seen to be 
thoroughly 'on' Dr. William Buel asked William Norton and some 
other boys to go to his store and bring over a certain box, which 
the lads found to be very heavy. When the doctor opened it and 
the company saw a case of liquors, there were plenty of men ready 
to handle the largest timbers! The last day when the spire was 
raised there were two or three Shaker tubs of rum punch set at 
the east end of East Park with little tin cups near by. . .". (Miss 
Esther H. Thompson in Waterbury American, March 8, 1906). 

The Association of 1789 was naturally the subject of a good 
deal of banter. An echo of this appears in one of the sprightly 
letters of Mrs. Chauncey Goodrich (Mariann Wolcott) to her brother 
Frederick Wolcott (Hartford, August 13, 1793) : "I hope you will 
attend to Papa's health and encourage him in moderate exercise and 
to live generously. It is supposed that Mr. Sherman and Gen. Wol- 
cott brought on their disorders by too great temperance in living. 
I hope our Father will be a comfort to himself and a blessing to 
us for a long time. My duty and Love to him and to my Mother". 
(Wolcott Memorial, p. 331). 

But there was another side to the picture, in the men, some 
of them, as it happened, very prominent ones, who fell victims to 
intemperance; and unquestionably it was these examples that led 
to the inception and growth of the temperance movement. The 
most signal case was that of Jedediah Strong. 


The picture of Judge Strong drawn for us by Kilbourne (pp. 
147-150) is not an attractive one, but liis story at least deserves 
pity. He was born in Litchfield in 1738, and spent his whole life 
here; he graduated at Yale in 1761, and v/as the second native of 
Litchfield to receive a collegiate degree. He first studied divinity, 
but, being early elected to a town office, he abandoned his studies 
for the more congenial pursuits of a politician. With only his own 
skill to help him, he soon acquired and long maintained a political 
ascendency second only to that of Wolcott and Adams. An imperi- 
ous will, an affectation of power and a faculty of making himself 
popular all contributed to his success. His diminutive figure, limp- 
ing gait, and unpleasant countenance were in some measure atoned 
for by his promptness and tact in the discharge of the public busi- 
ness. He was a good penman, then an important qualification, 
familiar with legal forms, and held possibly as many public offices 
for as long terms as any of our citizens. Many of these will be 
found in the Ajjpendix. His habit of intoxication graduall}^ grew 
on him and led him to poverty and degradation. He is said at 
one time to have been a beggar and a charge on the Town. He was 
twice married, his daughter. Idea Strong, remaining to the last his 
chief comfort. He died in 1802, and was buried in the West Bury- 
ing Ground, but no trace of his grave remains. 

Already in 1789 his habit of intemperance was proverbial, and 
it is possible that the Association was formed in part at least to 
try to give him the support of his fellow townsmen in an attempt to 
reform himself. It is at least noticeable that while the other signers 
put all their names together at the foot of their pronouncement, 
Judge Strong signed a separate statement after them. The original 
pledge is given at length in Woodruff's History, p. 50. Among the 
signers were Ephraim Kirby, Julius Deming, Benjamin Tallmadge, 
Uriah Tracy, Ebenezer Marsh, Moses Seymour, Daniel Sheldon, 
Tapping Eeeve, Frederick Wolcott, Lynde Lord, and John Allen. 

The separate pledge of Judge Strong was as follows: "By 
Necessity and on Principle, in consequence of little experiment and 
much observation, I have effectually adopted and adhered to the 
salutary plan herein j^roposed during several months past, and am 
still resolved to persevere until convinced that any alteration will 
be productive of some greater good, whereof at present I have no 
apprehension whilst Human Nature remains the same". 

His good resolves were of short duration. In 1790 he was 
arrested for ill treatment on the charge of his second wife, Susannah, 
daughter of George Wyllys, then Secretary of State at Hartford. He 
was afterwards sued by her for a divorce, which she obtained, the 
trial being held in New Haven. In spite of all his misfortunes, 
he remained something of a character to the end, and we may per- 
haps quote from his Will, dated March 31, 1801, as it is one of the 
most unconventional ever filed in this Probate District. It is 
mainly occupied with pious refiections and counsels addressed to his 


daughter. "And finally", lie adds, "tliat worldly wealth or earthly 
estate which it has pleased the Universal Proprietor to conmiit to 
my temporary care and stewardship on the sublunary, probationary 
theatre, (or the remnant fragments after so much spoliation of envy, 
Covetousness, Oppression, or whatever mistake in extreme career of 
permitted liuman vicissitude), my most mature and deliberate 
option and volition is, that disposition be made as follows: I 
recommend, give and bequeath, to my beloved daughter, Idea Strong, 
my Bibles and inferior Orthodox Treatises on Keligion and Morality, 
or relative or appertaining to Vital Piety or Practical Godliness, 
and all other Books, Pamphlets or Manuscripts, except Ptouiances, 
if any be left extant, which I have long since, (though not soon 
enough), intentionally consigned or destined to deserved oblivion 
in native shades of chaos". The amount of his worldly wealth, 
says Kilbourne, as per inventory, was $96.66; while as an offset to 
this, claims against him to the amount of a few hundred dollars 
were sent in. 

No good purjjose can be served by detailing the circumstances 
of all those who were in the minds of the men who kept alive the 
temperance movement between the original j)ledge of 1789 and the 
Beecher Sermons of 1826. Eeference should however be made to 
another very distinguished lawyer, John Allen, a signer of the 
pledge of 1789, who in his last years yielded to intemperate habits, 
and lost his business and wealth, dying at the farmhouse north of 
Town to which he retired. 

He was a striking figure, in many respects the veiy antithesis 
of Judge Strong. David S. Boardman, in his Sketches of the Early 
Lights of the Litchfield Bar, 1860, describes him as follows: "He 
was six feet four or five inches high, very erect and with an atti- 
tude and walk well calculated to set off his full stature, and though 
quite lean, weighed full 230 pounds. His countenance was strongly 
marked and truly formidable, his eyes and eyebrows dark, his hair 
dark, what little he had, and indeed his whole appearance was cal- 
culated to inspire dread rather than affection. His manner and 
conversation were, however, such as to inspire confidence and respect, 
though little calculated to invite familiarity, except with his inti- 
mates, of v.iiom he had few, and those, knowing the generous and 
hearty friendship of which he was capable, were usually much 
attached to him and ready to overlook all his harsh sallies, imputing 
tlieni to the 'rough humor which his mother gave him'. His feelings 
were not refined, but ardent, generous and hearty. His friendships 
were strong and his aversions equally so ; and his feelings were all of 
the great sort". He was born in Great Barrington, Mass., in 1762. 
After teaching school in Germantown, Penna., and in New Milford, 
he came to the Law School in Litchfield, and remained here for the 
rest of his life. He attained a high eminence, but was content to 
confine his practice almost entirely to Litchfield County, though he 


practiced in other parts of the State in special cases of importance 
to which he was called. 

It would appear that his case influenced Lyman Beecher to a 
consideration of the temperance question, just as that of Jedediah 
Strong influenced the men who formed the Association of 1789. 
Another influence on Beecher was furnished by the conditions he 
found within the church itself, especially in connection with what 
was then considered a necessary form of hospitality at such gather- 
ings as the Ordination of new ministers. Here is the description 
he has left us of the first ordination he attended after coming to 
Litchfield, that of Mr. Hart in Plymouth, (Autobiography, I., pp. 
245-6) : 

"At the ordination at Plymouth, the preparation for our crea- 
ture comforts, in the sitting-room of Mr. Hart's house, besides food, 
was a broad sideboard, covered with decanters and bottles, and 
sugar, and pitchers of water. There we found all the various kinds 
of liquors then in vogue. The drinking was apparently universal. 
This preparation was made by the Society as a matter of course. 
When the Consociation arrived, they always took something to drink 
round; also before public services, and always on their return. As 
they could not all drink at once, they were obliged to stand and 
wait as people do when they go to mill. There was a decanter of 
spirits on the dinner table, to help digestion, and gentlemen partook 
of it through the afternoon and evening as they felt the need, some 
more and some less; and the sideboard, with the spillings of water, 
and sugar, and liquor, looked and smelled like the bar of a very 
active grog-shop. None of the Consociation were drunk; but that 
there was not, at times, a considerable amomit of exhilaration, I 
cannot a ft" rim. When they had all done drinking, and had taken 
pipes and tobacco, in less than fifteen minutes there was such a 
smoke you couldn't see. And the noise I cannot describe; it was 
the maximum of hilarity". 

A temperate man himself, Lyman Beecher had never been an 
advocate of total abstinence. "Two leading members of his own 
church", says Miss Esther H. Thompson, Waterbury American, 
February 22, 1906, "Capt. Wadsworth and Deacon Bradley, kept a 
tavern and a grocery store in Bantam, where fermented and dis- 
tilled liquors flowed freely as was then the universal custom in such 
places. Unseemly carousals were common, in one of which there 
was a battle wherein salted codfish figured as weapon, adding 
thereby no dignity to the church, and deeply grieving the wife of 
Capt. WadsAvorth, who was the sister of Deacon Bradley. She was 
a woman of superior intellect, deep piety, and early became a 
believer in total abstinence. It is said that her influence was 
potent in arousing Dr. Beecher to see and to preach against the evil 
of intemperance. But he was especially led to sentiments so 
much in advance of the age by the scruples of his friend and 
parishioner, Hezekiah Murray, from the Pitch. This man owned 
a Still. Noticing the evil effects of its product on the young men 


of the neighborhood, he forbad his o\\ti sons to drink from it. Then 
he questioned, 'if distilled liquor was bad for his children, was it 
right to put it before the sons of his neighbors?' and he came to 
Dr. Beecher for advice. At first the minister, in accordance with 
the almost universal opinion of the time, argued strongly in favor 
of moderate drinking. But the subject was before him and 'would 
not down'. After weeks of careful thought and study, there 

thundered from the pulpit the memorable Six Sermons on Intemper- 
ance, which we ai-e told were afterwards extensively circulated on 
both sides of the Atlantic, and started a movement which has 
never stopped". 

No man in the country was more earnest or fearless in his 
attacks on anything which he had definitely decided for himself to 
be an abuse. He had previously, in 1806, while at East Hampton, 
after the Burr-Hamilton duel, led the attack against the then uni- 
versal custom of dueling. This reform, strange as it may seem to 
us to-day, was considered a more radical departure than his later 
crusade in behalf of temperance, but that story is not a part of the 
History of Litchfield. 

Of the Six Sermons themselves, we need speak only in Dr. 
Beecher's own words; "I didn't set up for a reformer any more than 
this: when I saw a rattlesnake in my path, I would smite it", and 
elsewhere, (Autobiography, II., p. 35) : "I wrote under such power 
of feeling as never before or since. Never could have written them 
under other circumstances. They took hold of the whole congre- 
gation. Sabbath after Sabbath the interest grew and became the 
most absorbing thing ever heard of before. A wonder: of weekly 
conversation and interest, and, when I got through, of eulogy. All 
the old farmers that brought in wood to sell, and used to set up 
their cart-whips at the groggery, talked about it, and said, many 
of them, that they would never drink again". 

With the Six Sermons and the departure of Lyman Beecher 
the same year for the wider field of his activities in Boston, the 
question of temperance passes out of the History of Litchfield. 



In Litchfield, as in every other community, party spirit has 
from time to time run high, in connection with local, state and 
national elections. In general, no special interest attaches to these 
incidents once the questions which have been at issue are settled. 
Only in one instance has the storm of party feeling in Litchfield 
had an effect outside the borders of the township. This was the 
bitter fight betAveen the Federalists and the Democrats, Avhich first 
reached high water mark in 1806, in the imprisonment at Litchfield 
of the Democratic editor of the Witness, Selleck Osborn; which had 
its effect upon the establishment in 1814 of the Phoenix Bank in 
Hartford, with its branch in Litchfield, now our First National 
Bank; and which culminated with the election in 1817 of Oliver 
Wolcott Jr. as the first Democratic Governor of Connecticut and 
the ratification of a new Constitution for the State in the follow- 
ing year. 

The election of Jefferson as President in 1801 had started the 
tide of party feeling running higher throughout the country than 
at any time since the Kevolution. Perhaps this feeling was less 
marked in Connecticut than elsewhere; for in this State the govern- 
ment Avas solidly Federalist, and while every act of the new party 
was met with condemnation, the Democrats were treated more with 
disdain than opposition. The Democrats were however a rising 
force everywhere, and they had no intention of neglecting Con- 
necticut. They were well organized, they had complete faith in 
Jefferson and in themselves, and where they thought it advisable 
they were absolutely careless of the methods they used to arouse 
feeling and to win votes. At this day it seems as if much of the 
feeling was due as largely to the methods they used as to the actual 
principles involved. 

One of the dominant strongholds of Federalism, in this strongly 
Federalist State was Litchfield. Moses SejTUOur was at first the only 
citizen of prominence who was a Democrat, though many of the 
younger men and very many of the workers in the mills were Demo- 
crats. Practically all the men of the families of Avealth were Federal- 
ists. The Congregational church was also strongly Federalist. Orig- 
inally the so-called religion tax, which Avas a part of the regular tax, 
was applied exclusively to the benefit of the Congregational church 
throughout the State. In many parts of the State, as in Litch- 
field there Avas no other church. Since 1729 other sects could pay 
their religion tax for the support of their OAvn ministers instead 


of all having to pay for the Congregational preacher, and later each 
denomination was allowed to pay its tax in its own way and at 
separate rates. "In effect, the Congregational was the 'established 
church' of Connecticut. There were the outward symbols too, as 
witness the election-day services for generations in the First Church, 
Hartford, Avhen all the Congregational clergy in the state marched 
in the procession with state officers and soldiery; and there never 
was an election sermon by aught except a Congregationalist till 
that by Dr. Doane the year of the new constitution, 1818". (First 
Century of the Phoenix Bank, pp. 14-15). 

It is not to be Avondered at then that politics got into the pulpit. 
Years before, when Jefferson Avas elected as the Vice-President with 
John Adams, Judah Champion prayed for "Thy servant, the Presi- 
dent of the United States", and then added fervently, "Oh! Lord, 
wilt Thou bestoAV on the Vice-President a double portion of Thy 
grace, for Thou knowest he needs it". 

The Episcopal Church, corresponding with the Church of Eng- 
land Avas generally considered as being a Tory body, and to carry 
on the distinction, it Avas usually identified with the Democratic 
party. The distinction between the tAvo churches was of course not 
a true one, hoAA'^ever conA^enient politically, for in the Revolution 
there Avere happily patriots in every church, and later the Demo- 
crats Avere found in increasing numbers in every church. The best 
Americans were too sensible to share in these distinctions. "The 
church of St. Michael in Litchfield, Avas a mark (in the Revolution) 
for the maliciously disposed; and its Avindows stood as shattered 
monuments of the vengeance of adversaries. When General "Wash- 
ington passed through Litchfield the soldiers to evince their attach- 
ment to him thrcAV a shoAver of stones at the windoAvs; he reproved 
them, saying: 'I am a Churchman, and Avish not to see the church 
dishonored and desolated in this manner'." (Mrs. Anna Dickinson, 
in Saint Michael's Centennial Pamphlet, ISTov. 5, 1845, Appendix). 

When, after Jefferson's election to the Presidency, the Demo- 
crats determined on the systematic iuA^asion of Connecticut, they 
staged a series of political rallies, Avliich they called Festivals. Of 
these Tapping Reeve wrote, (The Litchfield Festival, 1806) : "It has 
been fashionable ever since the organization of the Democratic party, 
for their leaders to appoint public meetings and festiA'als, Avhich 
all are iuAdted to attend, and on AA^hich great numbers constantly 
do attend. Thus in March, 1801, a festival in honor of the election 
of Mr. Jefferson as President, and Mr. Burr as Vice-President, Avas 
holden at Wallingford; in 1802 a like festiA'al Avas hoi den also at 
Wallingford; in 1803 at NeAV Haven; in 1804 at Hartford to cele- 
brate the purchase of Louisiana; in 1806 at Litchfield to celebrate 
the independence of the United States; and in 1804 a great number, 
denominated the representatives, from 97 towns were convened at 
New Haven by order of the then State Manager to devise means for 
forming a ncAV Constitution for this State". 


The festival in Litchfield was elaborately staged. Timothy 
Ashley, an editor, was sent to Litchfield, where he started a news- 
paper, the Witness, on August 14, 1805. He was evidently not 
considered sensational enough, for presently another editor was sent, 
Selleck Osborn. Together, the two men made a tremendous stir. 
Apparently Ashley did the work in the office on South Street, while 
Osborn furnished the sensations. He started in with a rush that 
would have done justice to the most radical or sensational paper 
ever published since, evidently trying to draw out the Federalists 
to some action which would lay them open to criticism. The more 
prominent citizens always appeared under nick-names: Col. Benja- 
min Tallmadge figured as 'Billy Bobtail', Judge Gould as 'Jimmy 
Dross'; and Julius Deming as the 'Crowbar Justice', so called on 
account on a supposedly rigid insistence on justice in the matter of 
the price of a crowbar bought from a political opponent as they came 
out of a tempestuous town-meeting. (Miss Thompson in Water- 
bury American, March 1906). The nicknames given to some other 
residents of the town and printed weekly in the Witness were such 
as could not appear in print to-day. Osborn began to achieve 
results promptly, as might have been expected. Going into the 
Tallmadge store one day and beginning to criticise everything in 
sight, one of Col. Tallmadge's sons caught up a horse-whip and 
sailed into him with a will. This was a great success for Osborn, 
and the Witness made the most of it. But more was needed. 
Eventually the chance came. Julius Deming lost his temper com- 
pletely and brought a libel suit against both editors. The result 
was inevitable. Judgment was brought against both men and they 
were subjected to a fine. In default of payment they were com- 
mitted to the County Jail. ^ Ashley was not so ready to play the 
martyr as Osborn, and was sc>t)n liberated. "I prefer the imprison- 
ment of the body to that of the mind", contemptuously replied 
Osborn, when the opportunity to regain his freedom was offered 
him. The Democrats noAV took up the cudgels for Osborn, and he 
was proclaimed a political martyr. The news of his incarceration 
reached other States, and Democrats elsewhere expressed their sym- 
pathy and gave their support to the effort to make political capital 
out of the incident. It was announced that Osborn's health was 
suffering from confinement in a damp and loathsome cell, and this 
was printed in the columns of Democratic journals published far 
from Litchfield. The Democrats appointed a committee to visit 
the Jail, to learn the true situation. Just what secrets of the 
Jail the Sheriff revealed, or whether there were any to be revealed, 
will never be known; but the committee reported that Osborn was 
confined in the same room with two criminals, charged with capital 
offences; they reported that the walls were ragged stone work, and 
the air damp; they asserted that his health was failing. From 
this time forward the committee made regular visits to the Jail 
and issued weekly Bulletins through the Witness. In vain the 
Sheriff, John E. Landon, denied the truth of the reports; the story 


of Osborn's persecution went abroad throughout the land. It was 
decided to have a demonstration in his honor on August 6, 180G, 
and this was worked up into the Festival already mentioned. It 
was a great day for the Democrats in the history of Litchfield. 
After early salutes by guns and music, there was a parade of troops 
and civilians. In the procession were United States Cavahy, 
Militia from Massachusetts, distinguished public officials so far as 
they proved available. Osborn had the opportunity to enjoy the 
demonstration in his own behalf. The procession marched past 
the Jail, which occupied the site of the present School-house, with 
bared heads. Opposite his window a salute was fired. 

Notwithstanding the hatred with which many of the Congre- 
gationalists regarded Democracy, the Society had generously offered 
the use of the meeting house for the occasion. Here occurred an 
unfortunate incident. The Eev. Judah Champion and his colleague, 
Dan Huntington, had taken their places to hear the exercises, when 
the chairman of the day, Joseph L. Smith, (son-in-law of Ephraim 
Kirby and Euth Marvin, and himself afterwards the father of the 
celebrated Southern General Kirby Smith), rudely came up to the 
two ministers and is said to have insulted them and forced them to 
leave the building. 

After the spread-eagle exercises in the meeting house, the com- 
pany adjourned to the green opposite the Jail, where a collation was 
served. Here Selleck Osborn had the privilege of looking from his 
window and hungrily enjoying the feast spread in his honor, but 
out of his reach. Seventeen toasts were drunk during the after- 
noon to the accompaniment of martial music and cannon shot. The 
first of these was "Selleck Osborn! the Later Daniel in the lions' 
den. He is teaching his persecutors that the beasts cannot devour 

With the Festival, the work of the Witness had been achieved. 
The Democrats had won the notoriety they desired, not to speak of 
the votes. The paper was continued for a few months to reap 
the benefits of the advertising. Then it was discontinued, Selleck 
Osborn's fine was paid, and he left for other fields of endeavor. 

The bitterness remained. As a single example we quote from 
Boardman's Sketches of the Litchfield Bar, the laconic answer of 
John Allen to an inquiry of him, why he took the Aurora, the 
County democratic paper: "He replied it was because he wanted 
to know what they were about in the infernal regions". 

Litchfield again figured in the political situation in 1814, when 
the charter of the Phoenix Bank was being sought in Hartford. 
This was opposed by the Hartford Bank, then the only one in the 
city, which naturally feared the competition. The cry that the 
Phoenix Bank was to be a Democratic and an Episcopal institution 
was raised, and it was found that the support of the Litchfield 
•epresentatives and business men would help materially in laying 
')prehension, as their conservatism was known. In return, Litch- 


field asked for and obtained a brancli banii, witli privileges of 
deposit as well as of discount, then unusual privileges for a brancli. 
The charter was obtained and Col. Benjamin Tallmadge became 
the first President of the Litchfield Branch. In 1865 the First 
JS'ational Bank was organized as the successor of the branch bank, 
with Edwin McNeill as the first President. The Phoenix Bank of 
Hartford and the Litchfield Bank now rank sixth in order of length 
of continuous operation in the State. 

The granting of the charter was called the Toleration Act by 
the Episcopalians. If the name of their church had before been 
made an argument against the granting of the charter, they argued 
that when the charter was granted their party deserved the credit. 
Hitherto, every attempt of an Episcopalian to attain office had 
been opposed. So much was this the case in the years following 
the Eevolution that the Kev. James Nichols, the Episcopal clergy- 
man, "presented an address to the General Assembly asking for 
the appointment of a prominent churchman, Daniel Landon, as Jus- 
tice of the Peace, 'wishing', as the petition reads, 'the favor of a 
justice of the peace to adorn the Society'." (Rev. Storrs O. Sey- 
mour, in Clergy of Litchfield County, 1909, p. 127). 

The cry of Toleration really turned Connecticut into a Demo- 
cratic State. It made an appeal to many conservative men, who 
had only been disgusted by such demonstrations as that of Selleek 
Osborn. When Oliver Wolcott Jr., after his return to Litchfield, 
was asked to become the Democratic candidate for Governor in 
1817, his surprise was considerable. His family were all Federal- 
ists, he himself had been a member of the Cabinet of both the Fed- 
eralists Presidents; his house had been the meeting ground for the 
Federalists in Philadelphia and in Washington, especially of course 
for those from New England, and this at a time when the division 
of political parties at the seat of government in their social inter- 
course was more decided than it has ever been since, 

OliA^er Wolcott would never have run on a Democratic plat- 
form of the 1806 brand, but Toleration brought in issues with which 
he and many others were in hearty sympathy. These he outlined 
in his inaugural address to the General Assembly, Mslj 1817. This 
address found its way to the London Times, and though at that 
particular time, few things American found any favor in England, 
yet that conservative paper printed it at length (July 8, 1817). The 
editor adds; "When we look at the simplicity and dignity of its 
manner, the beauty of its style, the purity of its language, the 
elegance of its diction, and the originality of the composition, we 
have no hesitance in saying, that we consider it one of the most 
splendid State Papers that have ever yet appeared". 

Successful as Wolcott's administration was from the beginning, 
the election was bitterly contested. This was especially true of 
his home town. He wrote of it to his son-in-law, George Gibbs, 
April 7, 1817, "Our Election has been held here this day. In this 
Village Gov. Smith had 222, and your himible servant 322 votes. 




Governor Oliver Wolcott Jr. 


I own that I am pleased with obtaining the majority in this Town, 
as every possible exertion has been made to oppose me. I know 
that seven eighths of the Town are pleased with the result, though 
many of them dare not confess it". 

Of his administration we cannot properly speak in this book, 
but mention should again be made of the State Constitution which 
was adopted the following year, 1818, by the General Assembly. He 
was the president of the Convention which prepared this admirable 
document, and is said to have written the greater part of it him- 
self. It provided at length an adequate Constitution for our State, 
which was then in the anomalous position of being known to many 
as the Constitution State, (from the circumstance of its having 
adopted in 1639 the first of the Colonial Constitutions, which became 
the model for all later State Constitutions), and yet of having no 
proper Constitution of its own, to meet the changed conditions of 
a free government. 

Of the provisions of the new Constitution, none seemed at the 
time more radical to the Federalists than what they considered the 
disestablishment of the Congregational Church, "It was as dark 
a day as I ever saAv", wrote Lj^man Beecher, "The odium thrown 
upon the ministry Avas inconceivable. The injury done to the 
cause of Christ, as Ave then supposed, was irreparable. For several 
days I suffered what no tongue can tell for the best thing that ever 
happened to the State of Connecticut. It cut the churches loose 
from dependence on State support. It threAv them wholly on their 
own resources and on God". 

We may leave this glimpse of the most important political 
moment in the history of Litchfield with the wise Avords of George 
C. Woodruff (p. 56) : "A spirit of liberality has in general existed 
betAveen different religious sects, and a feeling of good will between 
all classes. Party spirit it is true has prevailed among political 
partisans, and formerly embittered to some extent social inter- 
course. But notwithstanding the calumny Avhich at different times 
has been heaped upon different individuals, and upon opposing 
parties, its effect has been temporary, and after the heat of contest 
has subsided, men have learnt the injustice of which they have been 
guilty, and that neither all that is excellent is to be found exclu- 
sively with the one party, nor all that is bad exclusively with the 
other. And if any there are who disbelieve a truth so obvious, 
they receive, in this respect, no countenance from those whose 
opinions are worthy of regard". 



The trees of Litchfield are its crowning beauty to-day. It is 
hard to picture the village, especially North Street and South 
Street, before the elms had been planted there. The early settlers 
were so greatly concerned with the clearing of their fields that they 
naturally gave no thought to the planting of new trees for decora- 
tive purposes. Indeed the story goes that when Oliver Wolcott Jr. 
began to set out trees along the Litchfield streets, one of the 
by-standers, an old man who remembered the early days of struggle 
against the forest, exclaimed: "We have worked so hard in our 
day, and just finished getting the woods cleared off, and now they 
are bringing the trees back again!" 

From very early days a few persons foresaw the desolation that 
would follow if all the trees were cut, not to mention the economic 
loss if no future wood supply was provided for. In the Monitor 
for January 3, 1798, is reprinted an article which sounds a warning 
in this direction, adding: "Would it not be a regulation well deserv- 
ing the attention of the General Court, to require every town to 
plant the sides of the public roads with forest trees? . . . The plant- 
ing quick growing trees, as Willow, Lombardy Poplar, Balm of 
Gilead, etc., certainly deserves attention. Even the elms, ash-trees, 
button-woods and maples will pay for planting by their growth". 

Coming down to the influences which prompted the planting of 
our streets, we find two men giving actual inspiration to this work, 
besides the individual interest of the men who at different times 
did the planting. These men were James Hillhouse of New Haven 
and Lyman Beecher. 

James Hillhouse had planted great numbers of the elms in 
New Haven, which gave the name of the City of Elms to that place. 
He interested many of the Yale students in the work he had done, 
which was already showing results, and when Oliver Wolcott Jr. 
returned from the College, he brought with him the inspiration 
that started the movement of tree planting here. 

The influence of Lyman Beecher was very much later, after a 
great part of the work had already been accomplished. It is worth 
recording, however. On July 18, 1824, Catharine Beecher wrote to 
her brother Edward: "Yesterday I heard two of father's very best 
sermons. The afternoon sermon perfectly electrified me. I wish 
it could be heard by all young men in the country. Among other 
things, he exhibited the ways in which they might do good, and the 
blessedness of it. We saw a small specimen of its effect this after- 
noon, when, in playful obedience to some exhortations to a laiidable 


public spirit, a party of our young townsmen turned out to trans- 
plant forest trees wherever they are needed through our streets", 
(Autobiography, Vol. II., p. 15). 

The story of our trees has been told several times. Miss Mary 
Perkins Quincy read a paper on their history before the Mary 
Ployd Tallmadge Chapter, D. A. E. in 1901, accompanying a tree- 
jnap of the Borough, which is framed in the rooms of the Litchfield 
Historical Society. This was also accompanied by a paper by Prof. 
W. E, Britton, entitled Tree Notes. Prof. Henry S. Munroe, in 
1919, read a paper before the Litchfield Garden Club, on the Age 
of the Litchfield Trees. The following incidents connected with 
the planting of our ti'ees are selected from the mass of informa- 
tion furnished by these admirable Essays. 

When Oliver Wolcott returned from New" Haven under the 
influence of James Hillhouse's exhortation to plant trees he set 
out thirteen Button-wood or Sycamore trees to commemorate the 
thirteen states of the new Eejiublic. Of these only one survives: 
"Connecticut", happily enough, which stands in front of the Eoman 
Catholic Church. The large sycamore on East Street, near the 
Library, is believed by some to be another of this planting; but this 
is improbable if only because no name has come down for it. Nearly 
all, too, were planted along South Street, though the exact sites are 
uncertain. Soon after the planting of these Sycamores, an illness 
which attacked this kind of tree killed many of those then standing 
in various parts of town, and turned the attention of the planters 
chieflly to ejms. These grew in many of the outlaying swamps and 
could be brought in to town on the shoulders. Oliver Wolcott Jr. and 
his brother, Frederick Wolcott, about 1790, planted many of the elms 
now so beautiful along both sides of South Street. There is a 
legend that they omitted to plant any in front of the house occupied 
by Eeynold Marvin, the King's Attorney, now owned by Mrs. H. G. 
Mendenhall, because of the unpopularity of his Tory views. The 
story is doubtful, owing to the friendship of the Wolcott and Marvin 
families; we know at least that at the melting of the bullets in 
the Wolcott orchard, the ladies of the Marvin household ran the 
largest number of bullets to be used in defence of the American 
cause. Further, there are now elms in front of this house, but 
it may be true that they are of smaller size and of later date. 

John C. Calhoun is the next distinguished name among the 
planters of the Litchfield elms. He was graduated at the Law 
School in 1805. He had the happy thought to set out a few 
elms in front of the houses where he boarded, first at the corner 
of West and Spencer Streets, and then on Prospect Street, where 
Mr. MacMartin now lives. This was then owned by Eeuben Web- 
ster, and Hosea Webster, the host's little son, used to tell many 
years later how he held the trees when Calhoun planted them. 
Only one of the Calhoun trees survives on Prospect Street and one 
on West Street. 


At about the same time, the Misses Pierce, who built their own 
house on the site of the present Underwood House on North Street 
in 1803, planted several maples on their frontage on the street. 
Two of these survive. Their growth has been less rapid than 
that of the Calhoun Elms, which now average 113 inches, while the 
maples average only 91 inches, in circumference. 

In 1812, there was an encampment of soldiers on the Bantam 
Koad, a little east of the residence of Milo Beach. During their 
stay here the men planted a double row of elms bj^ their camp, a 
number of which are flourishing. 

In 1825, James K. Gould, a son of Judge Gould, and Origen S. 
Seymour, then just graduated from Yale, planted elms on the east 
side of North Street, from the corner up as far as the present resi- 
dence of Charles H. Coit. Two are standing west of Miss Edith 

D. Kingsbury's house on the corner, one on the lawn at the entrance 
of the Misses Kingsbury's house, and a fourth before the Coit house. 

In 1850, Miss Lucretia Deming, the daughter of Julius Deming, 
planted the row of Lindens before the Deming house, now the home 
of the Misses Kingsbury, from which the house takes it name. 
She also planted many of the trees of various varieties in the 
grounds. The oak grove was planted from acorns somewhat later. 

One of the most devoted lovers of trees in Litchfield was Gideon 
H. HoUister. He was the author of the Histoiy of Connecticut, 
published in 1855, a monumental work, much of which was written 
while he lived at the Tallmadge house. Like Calhoun, he had the 
happ3^ faculty of setting out trees wherever he lived ; and fortunately 
he lived in many different houses, some rented and some owned 
by him. Many of the fine trees in the grounds and along the 
Street, at the Lindley and Mendenhall houses on South Street and 
at the Vanderpoel and Frederick Deming houses on North Street 
were planted by him while he was living in these respective places. 
He also set out a row of elms on East Street near the Colvoco- 
resses house, though it does not appear that he lived there. The 
trees in front of the Vanderpoel house were set out by Col. Tall- 
madge and William Curtis Noyes. 

"Hardly could a more touching legacy", says Miss Quincy, 
"have been left to Litchfield than the long row of elms by the road- 
side across Harris Plain. In the year 1862, the young men who 
lived West of the Center, remarkable for their enterprise and known 
as the flower of the town, were among those who went to the Civil 
War. Before they left they planted these memorial trees as their 
last gift to their home district. Among these young men were 

E. Goodwin Osborn, Lyman J. Smith Jr., Francis Barber, the Vaills, 
the Plumbs, the Wadhams, and Captain George W. Mason". 

It was the father of one of these men, Lyman Smith Sr., a 
prominent merchant, who planted the beautiful elms from which 
Elm Eidge received its name, 

A number of Memorial Trees have been planted in recent years, 
but until time has given fuller size to the trees and hallowed the 



The Litchfield County House and Jail, 1812, and 
Whipping-Post Elm 


occasions which they coininemorate they can hardly claim individual 
mention. Exception should be made for the little evergreen on 
the grave of William W. Kockhill, in the East Burying Ground, 
which was sent from China in 1915 by Yuan Shi Ki, as a Memorial 
to one who did so much to help that unfortunate country at a very 
difficult moment. 

It is impossible to enumerate here all our historic trees; the 
orchards have not yet been mentioned. There have been many in 
the town, due at least in part to the popularity of cider in the 
olden days. Some of the old trees from the orchard of Lynde Lord 
are still alive at the end of Tallmadge Avenue. There is an 
old apple tree behind the house of W. G. Eosbach, which is the 
only smwivor of a large orchard planted by Oliver Wolcott, Sr. 
Frederick Wolcott, who inherited this part of his father's property, 
was annoyed by the boys stealing fruit from the out-lying parts 
of the orchard. One transgressor boldly carried a bag of stolen 
apples to the Wolcott house, and offered them for sale. Frederick 
Wolcott, recognizing the apples as coming from his orchard, was 
so enraged that he ordered most of the trees cut down. (Miss 
Esther H. Thompson, Waterburj^ American, 1902). 

When the buildings were taken out of the Commons, between 
1820 and 1827, attention began to be directed to the beautifying of 
this part of town. In 1835 the sum of $600 was subscribed for 
grading, fencing and setting out trees in the village parks, and the 
work was completed in 1836. The Center Park was the thought 
of Miss Mary Pierce, the younger sister of Miss Sarah Pierce. This 
land was originally the parade ground of the militia, and it was 
There that Col. Francis Bacon used to drill his Company. In the 
East Park Henry L. Goodwin had a large share in the planting and 
care of the trees; while twenty years later, George M. Woodruff, 
on his return from Yale College in 1858, planted about 50 more 
elms, completing the work. The West Park was planted by the 
late David Bulkley, the cabinet maker and antiquarian. 

There are three other elms that should be mentioned, though 
it is not recorded who planted them, these are the Whipping Post 
Elm, the Beecher Elm, and the Sign Post Elm. The Whipping 
Post Elm, by the County House, is the largest elm in the town, and 
according to Professor Munroe is probably older than the Eevolu- 
tion and possibly close on 200 years old. Gen. Wessells used to tell 
of seeing a man tied to the tree ,and given forty lashes save one, as 
was the custom, probably about 1815. The second largest elm in 
town is the Beecher Elm, which has a circumference of 1461/2 inches 
compared with 150 inches for the Whipping Post Elm. This marks 
the approximate site at the corner of North and Prospect Streets 
of the old Beecher House. The Sign-Post Elm, at the corner of 
South and East Streets, is not as large as the otlier two, or as 
several others in the town, but it has the historic interest of having 


advertised on its calm flank tlie legal notices and of having seen 
conducted in its shadow the Sheriff's sales of many years. 

The elms of Litchfield have filled with unconscious happiness 
not only those so fortunate as to live near them, but the many 
visitors to Litchfield, who carry away the memorj^ of their splendor. 
They are trees to come back to, and are the first subject spoken of 
by Henry Ward Beecher, in his Litchfield Eevisited, 1856: "The 
morning after our arrival in Litchfield Ave sallied forth alone. The 
day was high and wide, full of stillness and serenely radiant. As 
we carried our present life up the North Street, we met at every 
step our boyhood life coming down. There were the old trees, but 
looking not so large as to our young eyes. The stately road had, 
however, been bereaved of the buttonball trees, which had been 
crippled by disease. But the old elms retained a habit peculiar to 
Litchfield. There seemed to be a current of wind which at times 
passes high up in the air over the town, and Avhich moves the tops 
of the trees, while on the ground there is no movement of wind. 
How vividly did that sound from above bring back early days, 
when for hours we lay upon the windless grass and watched the 
top leaves flutter and marked how still were the under leaves of 
the same tree!" 

The healthy condition of our elms to-day, when in some towns 
they have suffered so much from droughts and other causes- is 
attributed to the subsoil of hardpan, deposited by the glacier on so 
many of our hilltops, causing those occasional swamps which still 
surprise us as existing in apparent defiance of the law of gravita- 
tion. The elm is a swamp tree, growing most luxuriantly on the 
banks of our streams, and its roots find a congenial environment in 
the subsoil swamp of Litchfield Hill, below the level to which the 
drainage has as yet been carried. 


In Colonial times, animals, both domestic and wild, were a 
matter of much more general concern than they now are. To-day 
one's own domestic animals are a source of pleasure or profit to one's 
self only, and if we go fishing or hunting it is again for our own 
pleasure. We no longer are concerned in town meetings with the 
restraint of our neighbor's geese or boars, nor do we offer bounties 
for wolves and rattlesnakes. Yet time was when these were very 
serious matters. It may be an exaggeration, but not a very great 
one, to say that not a town meeting was held prior to the Eevo- 
lution and for twenty years afterwards but one or more votes came 
up about animals. The great source of discussion was the use 
of the Commons. Our streets, which delight us by their breadth, 
were then even wider than they are to-day; but this width was not 
entirely a matter of foresight, as is sometimes supposed, when our 
first settlers are given credit for having visualized our broad road- 
ways, lined with beautiful rows of trees. Trees were not thought 


of befoi-e the Eevolutioii, as has been seen, beyond being- considered 
a nuisance in the fields, to be cleared as rapidlj^ as possible. The 
wide streets were j)rimarily planned as a grazing place for the 
live stock, especiall}^ at night, when they could be brought in from 
the outlying pastures, and herded safely out of reach of the prowling 
red man. 

The liicket fences, now an object of occasional ornament, and 
the chestnut rail fences, now entirely disappeared from our streets, 
were then an essential part of any home, which the fence-viewer 
required to be kept up to the proper standard of strength. After 
the erection of one's own log cabin and of the meeting house, not 
even the garrisons against the Indians took precedence over the 
fences in point of urgency of construction. 

At the town meeting on December 17, 1722, it was Voted, "That 
the swine shall run at large upon the comone and every man whose 
swine shall do damage to any neighbors shall paj' the damage 
whether there be fence or no till the first of May next and after 
that time the owner of swine shall haA^e liberty to have said fence 
proved hy the fence viewers and if not lawfuU fence not to pay 

The hayward had full charge of the commons and of the pound, 
and the fence viewers were the court of appeal when the animals at 
large did any damage. Neither was an official greatly to be 

Votes were passed regulating in turn every kind of animal and 
fowl, the sentiment one year being for the greatest possible liberty 
and another for the greatest possible restraint. Many of these 
votes appear laughable to us. Some of them foUoAv: 

Town Meeting, April 7, 1783: Voted that no Hogs be suffered 
to go at large on the Highways or elsewhere in this Town after the 
twentieth instant without being well ringed in the nose or snout on 
penalty of Forfeiture of two shillings lawful money and Poundage 
for each Hog so found at large without being ringed as aforesaid 
and in order to prevent Mischief by such Hogs voted that Capt. Solo- 
man Marsh, Capt. Lynde Lord, Ens. Ozias Goodwin, Ozias Lewis, 
and John Horsford be a Committee to carry this vote into effectual 

Town Meeting, May 12, 1783: A^oted to restrain Horses from 
running at large on the Highways and Commons. 

Town Meeting, December 8, 1791: Voted to restrain Boars from 
running at large after they are three months old under forfeiture 
of three shillings lawful money. Voted to restrain the Earns in 
this Towii from the 10th of September to the 1st of November for 
the year ensuing. 

Town Meeting, December 15, 1801: Voted to repeal the Vote 
making Hogs free Commoners under certain restrictions iJassed 
April 1796. 

Town Meeting, November 26, 1805: Voted that all Geese taken 
Damage Feasant after this date shall be liable to be impounded 


and the Proprietor shall pay to the Person impounding said Geese 
six cents per head damages. 

Town Meeting, November 11, 1806: Voted that to a former law 
or vote passed in this Town in November last respecting Geese the 
same penalty and restriction be added to restrain Turkies and that 
they be proceeded with accordingly. 

With so many animals at large together in our streets the 
question of individual ownership Avas a very pressing one. Owner- 
ship was determined primarily by branding, and in the original 
title to the toAvn given by the General Assembly in May 1719, a 
special brand, the figure 9, was assigned to Litchfield, But in 
addition each individual had his or her separate brand. Charles 
Shepherd Phelps, in his charming Rural Life in Litchfield County, 
published by the Litchfield County University Club, 1917, gives a 
number of these brands, thus: "A cross on the off ear taken out". 
"As the marks on record increased", (p. 21), "the style of the mark- 
ing became more complicated, as, a cross cut on the off ear and a 
slit in the cross of the near ear and a slit in the under side of the 
near ear. 

"The taking of stray animals, and their impounding and sale 
when not claimed by the owner, was also common, as shown by 
the foUoAving, copied from the Litchfield town records: Tavo red 
yearlen heffers marked with a cross in the off ear and one black 
yearlen lieffer Avith some Avliite upon the rump, white under boUy 
and sum Avhite upon the inside of the hind leggs — also marked with 
a cross in the off" ear — which heffers are in the custody of Thomas 
Lee and have been prized by his desire on the 27th day of NoA^ember 
last by us, by the sum of three pounds and fifteen shillings, by us 
John BaldAvin, Joseph Bixy. The above named heffers are put 
upon record this fifth day of December Anno Domini 1723". 

A good many advertisements of strayed cattle are given in the 
early Monitors, sometimes with curious identification marks, of 
which the folloAving is a sample, (Monitor, November 14, 1796) : 
"Strayed from the subscriber some time in July last, a yearling 
Steer, marked Avitli a swalloAv tail in the off ear, tAA^o half pennies the 
under side of the near ear, and a slit in the end of the same; of a 
red colour, Avhite face, red hair round his eyes. Whoever will 
take up said steer and give information thereof, shall be well 
rewarded by David Beach". The etymology of the word ear-marlcs 
is sufficiently apparent here. 

Litchfield has always been a good dairying country, and the 
amount of live stock has probably been large front the earliest 
days. The only mention of the purchase of any stock in the tOAvn 
records, is the appropriation on January 1, 1722, of 30 shillings 
advanced by the ToAvn towards obtaining three bulls for the Town 
use. Morris, p. 90, says that there Avere shorn in this town in May 
and June 1811, 6,784 sheep. 


The end of the Common and the beginning of Litchfield's Park 
system dates from about 1820. The buildings were taken out of 
the Green about the same time, the last one to go being the second 
Congregational church, which was taken down in 1827, the year after^? 
the departure of Lyman Beecher. Although the alder swamps 
had probably been drained considerably before this date, the center 
of the streets were still unsightly, full of loose stone and brush, 
together with the little mounds with whortleberry bushes which 
Oliver Wolcott Jr. said the truants from school hid behind. About 
1820, the citizens got permission to enclose the center of Meeting 
House Street, in connection with some of the tree planting which 
was then becoming popular, and the day of the public pasture gradu- 
ally came to a close. At first many ludicrous and stonny scenes 
and wordy battles occurred when the haywards attempted to confine 
the trespassing cattle, but changes come quickly and by the time 
the Parks were more formally laid out, say 1835, the old Commons 
was already almost forgotten. 

Turning to the wild animals, we read in Morris, p. 88, ''Many 
years after the settlement of this town, deer, bears, and wild tur- 
keys, were numerous. Deer and bears have been taken by hunters 
between the years 1760 and 1770, and turkeys at a later period. 
Wild-cats occasionally visit us, and destroy sheep and lambs. A 
small tract near the north-east part of this town is rough and ledgy, 
and affords them a refuge from hunters and their dogs. Con- 
siderable mischief was done by them in the winters of 1811 and 1812". 

"There are j)ersons yet living", (Kilbourne, p. 02), "who remem- 
ber when bears and Avolves were hunted in Blue Swamp, and deer 
and wild turkeys Avere frequently seen within two miles of the 
Court House; when Indians, in companies of twenty or thirty, were 
accustomed to make their annual visits to this town, encamping on 
Pine Island, or along the Lake-shore, the men employing themselves 
in hunting and fishing, while the squaws made and peddled baskets 
and brooms. Foxes, minks, musk-rats, rabbits, woodchucks and 
raccoons are now frequenty trapped within the limits of this town- 

Bounties were offered in the earliest days of the settlement for 
killing wolves and rattlesnakes. Thus, at a Town Meeting, May 
16, 1740, we find "Voted, that whosoever shall kill and distroy any 
rattlesnakes within the bounds of the Town any time before the 
10th day of December next, bringing the tayl and som of the flesJi to 
any one of the Select men of the Town shall have three pence for 
each snake". We do not, however, find any appropriations made 
of town funds for the payment of these bounties, and the catch 
was probably small. To-day, it is said that no Battlers exist 
between the jSTaugatuck and Housatonic Rivers, though they are 
said to be found on the further side of both those rivers on rare occa- 
sions. However, one fine haul of snakes is reported in the 
Monitor, December 3, 1787, "A few days since, in this town, upwards 


of Three Hundred and Forty Snakes of every species excepting tlie 
rattle, were found sheltered under a nieadoAv bog; where, it is 
suj)posed, they had taken up winter quarters". 

The only mention of wolves in the Monitor occurs in 1806, when 
four are reported to have been killed in Norfolk, very probably 
these were the last in the County. The residence of Bertram Lewis, 
at the foot of Brush Hill, is known as Wolf Pit Farm, the Wolf 
Pit having at one time been made there by Captain Joseph Vaill, 
who built this, the oldest house in the township (now much 
remodeled), in 1744. Miss Alice Bulkeley, Historic Litchfield, 1907, 
p. 12, describes the construction as "simple, but effective; an exca- 
vation in the ground was surmounted by heavy logs so arranged that 
they would fall upon and crush a wolf when it tugged at the bait 
fastened at a figiire 4 trap underneath". 

Eegarding bears, the tradition is that the last one was killed 
long ago after being treed into the big oak back of the residence of 
John P. Elton on North Street, Avhich itself is supposed to be the 
last survivor of the primeval forest remaining within the borough 
limits. Amos Benton, the father of Horatio Benton, used to tell 
that in 1774, when he was three years old, a bear passed but a few 
rods from him while he was playing near the brook by his home. 
The alarm was given and his father and some of the neighbors 
started in pursuit, but did not succeed in killing it. 

The only animal which, after being locally exterminated, has 
returned to us is the deer. "Captain Salmon Buel, now in his 
ninety second year", wrote Kilbourne in 1859, "has seen wild deer 
in the SAvamp between his residence and the village". For about 
a hundred years no deer were seen; they Avere protected for ten 
years previous to 1917, throughout the state, and returned in con- 
siderable numbers, presumably from the Adirondacks, wintering suc- 
cessfully in our SAvamps. 

"The fish in our waters are A^arious", Morris, p. 88, "In the 
Great, Little and Cranberry Ponds, and their tributary streams, 
no trout have ever been taken. The fish in these waters are eels, 
perch, roach, suckers, shiners, red-fins, and bullheads or cat-fish. 
In the winter of 1809, twenty eight pickerel were taken in a pond 
in SouthAvick, near Granby, transported in casks of water by sleighs, 
and put into the Cranberry Pond. Their progeny now begin to be 
taken in considerable numbers. What effect they Avill have in 
destroying the former occupants, remains to be proved. Probably 
the shiners, red-fins, and smaller perch will many of them be 
destroyed; yet it is thought that the pickerel Avill be a valuable 

A previous experiment with pickerel was authorized in April 
1779, when Capt. John Marsh was granted by the ToAvn the exclu- 
sive Pickerel Fishing rights in the Loon or Cranberry Pond, "pro- 
vided he shall at his own expense procure pickerel to breed and 
propagate therein in a reasonable time". It seems however that 


110 advantage was taken of this privilege. How successful the 
pickerel have been since 1809 needs no comment. Tliej were for a 
long time the great fish of Bantam Lake, being known as Bantam 
Shad. More recently black bass were put into the Lake, and are 
now the chief aim of the fishermen. Other fish have been put into 
our waters on several occasions, the latest experiment being the 
salmon trout in 1919 bv the Connecticut Fish Commission. 



Until 1859, the present township of Morris formed an integral 
part of Litchfield, and was an important factor in our population 
and acreage. In 1810, its population was 1,238, probably the largest 
figure it attained. When the towns were divided, the population 
is estimated at 675. 

The early history of this parish has been well told by Wood- 
ruff, pp. 53-55 : "In May 1740, the Inhabitants of South Farms peti- 
tioned the Legislature, to be annexed to the north Society of Wood- 
bury, now Bethlehem. A committee of the Town of Litchfield was 
appointed to oppose it, and the application was unsuccessful. Ser- 
eral attempts were made to procure their incorporation as an Ecclesi- 
astical Society, which did not succeed till 1767, when an act of the 
Legislature for that purpose was passed. In 1753, there were 
but 30 families in the parish; when it was incorporated it con- 
tained 70. 

"But the Legislature long before that time granted the Inhabi- 
tants power to maintain the public worship of God among them for 
three months during the winter, and this right was called the 
'Winter Privilege'. They thereupon exercised the ordinary powers 
of an Ecclesiastical Society. Their first meeting for such purposes 
was holden on the 23d Nov. 1748, at the house of Capt. Thomas Har- 
rison . . . and Public Worship was held in different sections, at the 
School and Private Houses. The first School House was voted to 
be built in 1747. Twenty pounds was given from the Town Treasury 
for that purpose". 

There are two Cemeteries in the limits of the South Farms 
parish. The older, for which liberty was granted in 1747, is now 
known as the Morris Cemetery", and lies on a hill, with slope to the 
southAvards. Some of the graves near the road are marked by 
very old stones, many well-nigh illegible. The first person buried 
in this grave-yard was James Stoddard, who was killed at the 
raising of a dwelling in March 1749. In connection with the 
funerals at this Burying Ground, a vote of the Society, passed March 
14, 1759, survives, which is one of the most singular examples of 
old orthography in any of our records. This was, "to pay Charles 
Woodruff six shillings for ye Bears to carry ye Dead". 

The second Cemetery was authorized in 1776, in Footville or 
West Morris. "The sanctity of burial places". Woodruff, p. 54, 
"seems not to have been very highly regarded"; for the deed from 
Thomas Waugh of the land to be used specifies that "said Thomas 


Morris Woodruff 





Waugh his heirs and assigns shall have good right forever to enclose 
said Burying Yard, and use it for pasturing, provided, he or they 
shall keep up and maintain convenient bars for the people to pass 
and repass, for the purpose of burying their dead". 

"In the year 1764", Morris, p. 104, "the inhabitants agreed to 
build their first church. It was only one story high, 34 feet by 
32". The original vote of the Society authorizing this church gives 
slightly smaller proportions, as follows: "25 by 35 ft. with 9 ft. 
posts provided Justice Gibbs will do it by Dec. 1st, for seventy 
pounds ten shillings, plank body, clapboards on the outside, 10 win- 
dows of 24 panes 6 by 8 inches, floor well lined, sealed with pine, 
one doar, point the cracks between the planks with clay, decent 
pulpit, one-half to be paid in proc. bills ( ? ) , and one-half in specie". 
Later voted "A Quchion" and later "two pairs of stairs and foarms 
were built in the gallery". 

"The greatest puzzle", Morris Herald, September, 1899, "was 
the gallery in a church with posts only 9 feet high. Probably the 
space under the roof was included in the room and the gallery was 
at the end, with the gallery floor dropped a little below the plates". 

A second church, more suitable in size to the needs of the grow- 
ing commtinity and to use all the year, instead of for the winter 
privileges only, was planned as early as 1774, but the War pre 
vented its construction until 1785. It was a more pretentious 
structure than most churches of that day. The main entrance was 
a high double door over which was a large carved pine apple and 
other carved work. (Morris Herald, January, 1900). "Over the 
pulpit was the inevitable sounding board, described as a Turkish 
minaret, surmounted by a scarlet tulip. On each panel of the base 
of the sounding board was a carved bunch of grapes, and on the 
front of the pulpit, which was over six feet in height, were five 
ix)ws, three bunches each, of carved bunches of grapes, a bright 
purple in color and two grape leaves to each bunch, of natural size. 
On wood work behind the pulpit were two narrow green stripes, 
surmounted by scarlet tulips. There was but one stairway for 
the pulpit, on the left side, while down in front of the pulpit was 
the deacons' seat. The seats were arranged on three sides of the 
square pews, so that one third of the people would sit back to 
the minister. In the early days the people were seated according 
to social position, which was determined by wealth chiefly. This 
custom provoked jealousies and, in 1827, it was voted that the 
congregation should be 'seated by age without regard to list' . . . 
In a great gale of wind in 1822, the steeple was blown down and 
the bell broken. In 1824, a stove was for the first time set up 
in the church. . . . The church stood in an exposed spot and in spite 
of the stoves in severe Aveather it was impossible to heat the church, 
and it was taken down in 1844 and the present Church took its 
place. When it was torn down. Dibble Smith, an intense Uni- 
versalist, obtained the old pulpit and took a part of it to the match 


shop located where the Waterbury Reservoir iioav is and had it 
made into matches. He said they ought to burn well, for the 
pulpit must be well seasoned by the brimstone theology preached 
in it". 

The Rev. David Lewis Pannelee was the pastor in South 
Farms from 1841 until after the parish had become a separate town- 
ship, and he was largely instrumental in having the third church 
built. He was greatly interested in the parish, and was the largest 
subscriber to the church, and gave the sum of $1,000. for the con- 
struction of an adjoining chapel. He was very strict in the observ- 
ance of the Sabbath, and used to feed his horse on Saturdays to 
last over the day. South Farms has been fortunate in having 
such leaders as he was, and still more in James Morris of the 
Morris Academy. 

Under the direction of the latter, the first Library in the town 
of Litchfield was founded in South Farms in 1785. "In the year 
1791, a constitution was formed; and the proprietors became more 
numerous. The library consists of between 300 and 400 volumes 
of well-chosen books, of ancient and modern history and divinity" 
(Morris, p. 106). 

A debating society, formed in 1842, should also be mentioned. 
This was the Ladies' and Gentlemen's Society of South Farms for 
Moral and Intellectual Improvement. It had a large membership, 
and had an active but short existence of six years. Among the 
subjects debated, we find the following: "Has the introduction of 
manufacturing establishments into our country as a whole been 
injurious to public morals?" This Avas decided in the affirmative. 
"Is matrimony more conducive to happiness than celibacy?" This 
also was answered in the affirmative. The last subject recorded is: 
"Is the credit system beneficial to the community?" This seems 
to have been too much for the society, which never met again. 


In addition to the Law School and Miss Pierce's Academy, 
there was within the then limits of the town a third educational 
institution, more modest in its scope, yet which achieved important 
results. This was the Academy of James Morris in South Farms. 
He was born January 19, 1752. He himself has told us of its 
scope in the Statistical Account, written in 1812-4, (p. 105) : "An 
Academy was begun in South-Farms, in the year 1790; in which 
are taught the Latin and Greek languages, English grammar, 
arithmetic, mathematics, rhetoric, logic, and moral philosophy. Sev- 
eral gentlemen within the parish and in the town of Litchfield built 
the house by subscription, at the expense of $1,400. More than 1,400 
scholars, of both sexes, have been members of this school. More 
than 60 of these have entered Yale and other colleges. The school 
still continues. It was originally instituted for the purpose of 


improving tlie manners and nioi'als of youths, and of attracting 
their attention from frivolity and dissipation". 

The achievement of the results here so modestly described was 
not an easy one. To build up in the conditions then prevailing, 
as we shall see, in South Farms, an educational center capable of 
influencing the entire community and of sending out graduates with 
the ideals of John Pierpont, John Brown of Osawatomie, Samuel J. 
Mills, Jr., and at least two of the sons of Lyman Beecher, was a 
work requiring a remarkable personality in its founder, and there 
is no question that Mr. Morris was a remarkable and splendid 

We are fortunate in that he left a narrative in manuscript, 
extracts from which have been printed in Morris Herald (March 
1900), in the Memoirs of the Long Island Historical Society, (Yol. 
III., 1878, part 2, pp. 172-4), and in Johnston's Yale in the Eevolu- 
tion, (pp. 74-77 and 138). 

The extracts which have been printed are chiefly concerned with 
his services in the Eevolution. He served from 1776 to the end of 
the war, with rank of Captain. He was a prisoner for over three 
years after the battle of Germantown, the experiences which he 
narrates being of much interest. We must, however, conflne our- 
selves to a few quotations telling of his early life in South Farms 
and the starting of his life work. He began his Memoirs with 
these words: "In looking back to my early childhood I can well 
recollect that I was very much attached to my book ... In my 
youthful days I had an ardent desire to have a public education 
and my ultimate desire was to be a minister, but being the only 
son of my father he could not brook the idea of my leaving him 
for that purpose. He meant that I should be his earthly prop". 

When he was eighteen his, father acceded to his wishes for an 
education in so far as to say "that if I would go and sled home a 
certain quantity of wood that he had drawn off a piece of fallow 
ground the preceding summer I might go and try what I could 
do in the study of Latin, I then exerted myself, and in about a 
fortnight I had sledded home sixty loads of wood and loaded and 
unloaded the same". He then went and spent the winter with 
the minister in an adjoining town, tutoring especially in Latin. In 
the spring of 1770 he was called home to study under the minister 
in South Farms: "But", he says, "I made little progress, for every 
day I was interrupted; it was constantly said, James, you must 
go and bring some wood, you must get some oven wood and split 
it fine, you must go and bring up the old mare, your mother wants 
to ride out, you must go and fetch the cows, the pigs are in the 
garden, you must go and get them out". In spite of every difficulty 
he persevered, entered Yale, graduated in 1775, and began the study 
of theology. He did not consider himself fitted to be a minister, 
however, and after his return he and his wife, Elizabeth Hubbard 
of Middletown, made their home with Mr. and Mrs. Morris, Senior, 
both of whom were now in failing health. It was a restricted life 


for tlie young couple. "My parents being advanced in the waning 
of life chose retirement, my mother especially could not be broken 
of her rest or be disturbed of her sleep. We often had evening 
visitors and they would often stay till after nine o'clock, and some 
noise would be made either in conversation or when they bid me 
good night and went out of the house. The next morning my 
mother would complain that she was so disturbed that she did 
not sleep, and that she could not have it so, that I should send off 
my company before nine o'clock. Finding my situation growing 
unpleasant, yet at the same time feeling disposed to do everything 
in my power to soothe the pillow of age and to render the con- 
dition of my beloved parents comfortable, I consulted my father on 
the subject and I informed him that I had it in contemplation to 
purchase the house and lands where I now live". It was not long 
before Morris found that he needed more land, but he had not the 
money to buy it. "But", he says naively, "a kind providence had 
hitherto always found a way of escape for me when I was either 
in difficulty or in danger. In June 1789, God was pleased to 
remove my dear father by death. A considerable sum of money 
and cattle were placed in my possession by which I was enabled to 
free myself from debt without any embarrassment. Thus I was 
prospered in my worldly concerns, though the removal of my father 
was a grievous stroke to me in the dispensation of providence". 

He was much distressed at the condition of the people about 
him. "The church in this place was made up of numbers of 
ignorant, unprincipled and unexemplary men. They voted in 
church meeting that conversion should be no terms of communion 
at the Lord's Table, and this society ratified the same vote. Pro- 
fane swearing and open Sabbath breaking and drunkenness were 
not uncommon among professors of religion. The young people 
were clownish, ignorant and uncivil in their recreation and amuse- 
ments. They consisted chiefly of noisy and jovial mirth. 

"The first effort that I made", continues Mr. Morris, "was to 
attract the attention of the children in the several schools". As 
an incentive he offered a prize to each of the eight from the several 
districts who should perform best in a public examination. Taking 
a continued interest in the school children, he began courses for 
them after school hours in English grammar and geography. "The 
young ladies were my first pupils; I took more pains with them in 
the outsetting in giving counsel than I did to the others because 
experience had taught me in my travels through the United States 
that in every town or village where there was a chaste or virtuous 
set of young ladies there was a decent class of young men". 

He met with much opposition at first; people envied him for his 
position and hated him for his reforms. The opposition increased 
until in 1794 the Church took up the matter. A council was called 
and some of the neighboring churches sent delegates. The charge 
against him was that of disturbing the public peace. One of the 
witnesses testified that he occasionally walked home at night with 


his young lady pupils, Nevertheless the council acquitted him. 
After this his school prospered and steadily increased. In 1803 the 
people of the Society and other friends in Litchfield built him the 
house which was called the Academy. When the district of South 
Farms was set off as a separate township in 1859, the residents paid 
James Morris a deserved tribute in giving his name to the town, 
and thus honoring the memory of his sturdy character and of all 
he did for the conmiunity and for the world in Morris Academy. 
The value of his work appears when we contrast the early conditions 
in the community with the somewhat remarkable intelligence and 
character of the citizens in the years when the influence of the 
Academy came to be fully realized. It appears also in the large 
number of men from other parts of the country who were educated 
here and have filled important positions in the world. A few of 
his pupils especially have exerted a wide influence. 

John Pierpont was born in South Farms on April 6, 1785. 
After studying at the Morris Academy, he went to Yale (Class of 
1804). He studied law at the Litchfleld Law School. He became 
one of the most distinguished pastors of the Unitarian Church, 
occupying the pulpit of the HoUis Street Church in Boston from 
1819 to 1845. He was also widely known as a poet in those days, 
and composed the Poem for the Litchfield County Centennial in 
1851, which he recited with much effect. He was a vigorous anti- 
slavery advocate, and carried on the temperance crusade begun by 
Lyman Beecher. The freedom with which he expressed his opinions 
regarding the temperance cause led to a bitter controversy. While 
not strictly pertinent to the history of Litchfield, the following may 
be quoted as showing something of the spirit of the times: 

"The cellar of his church was used by some of his parishioners 
who were engaged in the wholesale liquor business, to store their 
goods. Eeport says it was John Pierpont who wrote the following 
lines : 

There's a spirit above, 

And a spirit below; 
A spirit of love. 

And a spirit of woe. 
The spirit above is the Spirit Divine, 

But the spirit below is the spirit of wine". 

(Morris Herald, April 1899). 

John Brown was born in Torrington on May 9, 1800. He came 
to the Academy with his brother Salmon about 1816 or a little later, 
and remained only one year. "He was not very popular with the 
other pupils; this may have been due to certain unamiable traits 
of character for which he admits his brothers criticised him, or 
simply to his conscientiousness of behavior. His disposition to 
attempt to right wrongs in a summary way appeared even at that 
early day. His younger brother Salmon was guilty of some offense 
for which he thought he ought to be punished, 'If Salmon had done 


this at home', lie said to the teacher, 'father would have punished 
him. I know he would expect you to punish him now for doing 
this, and if you dont I shall'. That night, more in sorrow than in 
anger, he gave him a severe flogging". (Morris Herald, Jan. 1899). 

Salmon Brown was for a time in the employ of Morris Wood- 
ruff. His grandson, George M. Woodruff, tells that on one occa- 
sion, Morris Woodruff, upon his return from the legislature, was 
much annoyed to find that some of his directions concerning farm 
work had not been carried out. Upon which Salmon consoled him 
by saying: "Gin'ral, Gin'ral, don't you know that if a man wants 
anything did, he must did it hiself?" We are not sure whether 
this anecdote speaks very well for the teaching of grammar at the 
Morris Academy! 

Through his life Morris showed a deep interest in his fellow 
men, not only in the scholars directly in his charge. This character- 
istic led him to be greatly interested in missions ; the mission school 
of the American Board of Commissioners of Foreign Missions being 
first connected with Morris Academy. The Litchfield County Foreign 
Mission Society was the first organized auxiliary of the Board, and 
dates from 181L James Morris was largely instrumental in its 
undertaking, and was its Secretary from its inception until his 
death. About 1816 he founded a mission school at South Farms, 
which in May 1817 was transferred to Cornwall, where it became an 
object of great interest as an experiment before untried. The school 
was founded as a result of the finding in 1809 of a young Sandwich 
Island boy, Henry Obookiah, on a doorstep at Yale College. He 
was cared for by Kev. Edwin Welles Dwight, then a resident gradu- 
ate at Yale, Samuel J, Mills Jr,, who had been a pupil of James 
Morris at the Academy, became the companion of Mr. Dwight in 
New Haven, and so was deeply interested in the heathen boy and 
conceived the idea of educating him as a missionary to his native 
land. Graduall.y the idea grew of a school for native foreign mis- 
sionaries; and when at last the school was opened at South Farms, 
Mr. Dwight became the first principal. On April 1, 1817, he wrote 
to his mother from the school : "I came at the request of the agents 
of the Heathen school to take charge of the Owhyhee boys. It is 
established by the board of commission of foreign missions and 
not long hence to have a very important connection with all our 
])laiis and efforts to spread the gospel. The object is to furnish 
a place for collecting and instructing all the heathen youth that 
may be throAvn upon our country or sent to this country for educa- 
tion. Of the Owhyheeaus, three or four are pious. It is very 
evidently God's design to prepare some of these young men to return 
as missionaries and interpreters to their own country". Samuel J. 
Mills Jr. did not live to see the success of the school. In 1818, 
on the return journey from Africa, whither he had gone to explore 
the West Coast with a view to founding a colonization project, he 
died at the early age of thirty five. In his short life, through his 
many and varied pioneer services for the cause of foreign missions, 











he won the reputation of being the Father of American Missions. 
He is buried in Torringford, where he was Ijorn. 

After removing to Cornwall the school grew very rapidly. The 
catalog of 1820 showed that the scholars were chiefly natives of the 
Sandwich Islands, one from Tahiti, one from the Marquesas, one 
Malay. There were also several American Indians. The school 
was discontinued in 1827, as it was found better to train native 
missionaries in their own lands. The detailed history of the school 
does not belong in this book. The life of Obookiah was written by 
Mr. Dwight in 1818, the work passing through 12 editions, the last 
in 1867. K. Henry W. Dwight, the biogi'apher of his grand-father, 
has estimated that these several editions, in three languages, num- 
bered not less than 50,000 copies, an enormous amount for those 
days. But the little seed of foreign missions, sowed in South 
Farms, cannot be counted in numbers, and though the story is 
virtually forgotten to-day its influence has been enormous. 

In connection with this mission work, we notice that under the 
inspiration of James Morris and Morris Woodruff in South Farms, 
and of Julius Deming, Benjamin Tallmadge, Tapping Eeeve and 
others in Litchfield, the support of Litchfield to the general Board 
was on a very liberal scale. "In the first years of the American 
Board for Foreign Missions its prospects were dark, and its supplies 
dubious. T^Tien the annual collection from Litchfield County first 
came into the Treasury of the Board, relieving it from some existing 
embarrassment, Dr. Worcester exclaimed 'I bless Grod for making 
Litchfield County'." ( Semi-Centennial of the Litchfield County 
Foreign Mission Society, 1861, p. 25). The contribution from Litch- 
field in the spring of 1813, the first remittance, was $1,354.11, truly 
a large one for the time, as the entire receipts of the Board for 
that year from the whole country were only $11,361.18. 

James Morris was taken ill Avhile visiting the Mission School 
in Cornwall, and died on his way home, at Goshen, April 20, 1820. 
The work at his Academy was continued after his death by a Mr. 
Chapman, and in 1831 Samuel Morris Ensign, 1804-1888, became 
principal. He was a distinguished educator, and drew large num- 
bers of pupils from the then western states, such as Ohio. The 
building of the Academy was torn down in 1892. For the last few 
years it had been used as a barn, the school being conducted in the 
home of Mr. Ensign. Some years before the latter's death the 
Academy practically ceased to exist. 


The south-eastern part of our township, now known as North- 
field, was first settled about 1760, but not incorporated as a parish 
until 1794. The parish, as laid out, included a part of Thomaston, 
then known as Northbury, or the north section of Plymouth. The 
name Northfield is a compound of the first syllable of Northbury and 
the last syllable of Litchfield. 


Tradition says that the first settlers were John Humaston and 
Titus Turner, both of whom came from New Haven. Humaston 
built a sa\^Tnill on the stream just east of the cemetery, where a 
mill still stands, though not the same one. Here he sawed the 
lumber for the first frame house, which stood on the site of the 
present Post Office until it was burned in 1904, with the former 
Post Ofl'ice just to the east. Turner's log house stood about a 
quarter mile west, on the south side of the present main street, but 
facing south on the earlier road. 

James Marsh was the first child born in the settlement, Septem- 
ber 22, 1762. 

Prior to 1794, the settlement was called South-East Farms. The 
first recorded meeting of a Society was October 15, 1789, at which it 
was voted to hire a minister for the winter season of six months. 

In 1791, application was made for liberty to have a burying 
ground. The first location was not satisfactory and was not used. 
On May 6, 1795, John Humaston made a gift to the Society of half 
an acre, on the present site, and this tract has been twice subse- 
quently added to. He reserved to "Himself, his heirs and assigns 
forever the right of feeding said Ground". 

Northfield is the only section of our township in which the 
Episcopal church was built before the CongregationaL The First 
Episcopal Society of Litchfield Southeast Farms was organized at 
the house of John Humaston on September 5, 1793. Thirty six 
persons were enrolled as members at this meeting. The first church, 
45 by 34 feet, was built on the Green, where the Soldier's Monument 
now stands, facing south, with a door at the west end also, and 
was completed in 1795. Eev. Joseph E. Camp officiated for a short 
time, addressing the Episcopalians in the morning and the Congre- 
gationalists in the afternoon. This building was consecrated as 
Trinity Church on October 19, 1836, by Thomas Church Brownell, 
Bishop of Connecticut. The present church was begun in 1865 and 
consecrated as Trinity Church on Februarj' 10, 1866, by John 
Williams, Bishop of Connecticut. 

By gift of Mrs. Bennett Humiston in 1899 the Society acquired 
the house adjoining the church on the south, which has since been 
used as a rectory. Here the Eev. Adelbert P. Chapman, the rector 
from 1901 to 1917, conducted for several years a small Sunmier 
Home for Girls for the preventative treatment of Tuberculosis, an 
admirable charity, carried on with great devotion. 

The Ecclesiastical Society of Northfield was incorporated at the 
session of the General Assembly, October 1794, the name being 
changed to the Congregational Society of Northfield in 1859. The 
Society was organized at the house of William Washburn at a 
meeting on January 1, 1795, with 14 enrolled members. Later in 
the year it was voted to adopt 'Deacon Button's plan' for a meeting- 
house, 50 by 38 feet. The building was commenced in 1796, but not 
completed for use until 1803. It stood on the top of jSTorthfield 


Hill, a quarter of a mile north of the present Green, The present 
church was dedicated February 6, 1867. 

The Society is endowed through a trust fund of $10,000., received 
from the estate of Asa Hopkins, who died in 1838. He lived on the 
East Hill, where he began at a very early date the manufacture of 
wooden clocks; later he began the manufacture of flutes at Flute- 
ville; and finally removed to New Haven, where he again manu- 
factured clocks. 

By the bequest of William L. Gilbert of Winsted, a native of 
Northfleld, who died in 1890, tlie Society received the sum of $4,000. 
for a parsonage, to include a room for a free Librarj^ for which 
the further sum of $8,000. was given. This building is located 
opposite the church, and was completed in 1896. The Librarian, 
from 1893 to 1907, was Levi S. Wooster, to whose faithful work in 
building up the Library, Northfleld is revj largely indebted for the 
fine collection of 5,500 books noAV included. Eev. Wallace Humiston 
is the present Librarian. 

The first school, Litchfield District No. 14, was established in 
1774. The school stood east of the road about half way from the 
present Congregational church to the top of the hill above. All 
traces of it disappeared long ago. In 1797, the Ecclesiastical 
Society appointed a committee which laid out the following districts : 
Center, Hopkins, Marsh, Fluteville, Mill and Guernsey Hill. Of 
these, Hopkins has long been abandoned, and Guernsey Hill more 
recently; while Mill is now in the town of Morris. A new building 
was furnished by Daniel Catlin about 1840 for use of the Center 
district, which the town later acquired and which is still standing, 
opposite the present Center School, built in 1885. 

There have been at least two important private schools. Rev. 
Joseph E. Camp, during his long ministry with the Ecclesiastical 
Society, 1795-1837, fitted many boys for college. One of these was 
John Pierpont, who also studied at the Morris Academy. 

Deacon John Catlin opened a private school in the old tavern 
of Jacob Turner about 1845. Among his pupils were Senator O. H. 
Piatt, Judge Edward W. Seymour, Rev. Storrs O. Seymour, D. D., and 
James G. Batterson of Hartford, builder of the State Capitol. 

There has been a Post-Office in Northfield since about 1836, 
when Daniel Catlin was postmaster. Prior to this time a weekly 
mail was delivered to the settlers by the rider to Hartford from 
Litchfield, beginning January 24, 1791. 

About 1794 the mail was left at the store of Turner and Wood- 
ruff, and the trips were made twice weekly. Shortly after 1800, 
the mail was left at the tavern of Jacob Turner, which was a way 
station for the overland mail from Hartford to Albany. This house 
still stands, being the second house north of the Congregational 

Of the many industries which have been located in Northfield, 
the only one now active is the Northfield Knife Co., which was 


incorporated in 1858, with John S. Barnes as President and Samuel 
Mason as Secretarj^, leasing and later buying the plant of an earlier 
factory, the Northfield Manufacturing Co. Barnes was succeeded 
as President by Mason, and in 1865 by Franklin H. Catlin, with 
J. Howard Catlin as Secretary' and Treasurer. The business was 
rapidly built up, and has attained an enviable reputation for the 
finest grade of pocket cutlery. Exhibits were made at the World's 
Fairs at Philadelphia, 1876; Paris, 1878; Chicago, 1892; and Buffalo, 
1901; prizes being received at each. At Buffalo, over a thousand 
styles of knives were shown. In 1919, the name and plant were 
sold to the Clark Brothers Cutlery Co., of Kansas City. 

Among the natives of Northfield, John Pierpont Humiston should 
be mentioned as the inventor of the first duplex telegraph instru- 
ment. He was born 1816, a grandson of John Humaston, and was 
apprenticed as a boy to a local carriage maker. He bought his 
last year of service for $342.50, for which amount he gave his note. 
After working in New Haven and Seymour, he turned his attention 
to electricity. His invention of the duplex telegraph allowed four 
messages to be sent over one wire, two each way. He also invented 
machines for the quick writing and receiving of telegraphic charac- 
ters. He sold his patents to the American Union Co., at the time 
of the Civil War, and after many years in the courts realized only 
$5,000., for patents which have proved of great value. The diffi- 
culty was caused by the Government taking over the American 
Union's lines, and that Company selling out to the Western Union. 
The latter Company did not recognize Humiston's claim, and 
although after a long lawsuit he obtained a verdict for $16,000., 
the amount was greatly reduced by costs. Mr. Humiston died in 
Northfield at the age of 88, in 1904, and was at the time of his 
death the oldest resident of the village. 

The facts relative to Korthfield have been furnished by Albert 
M. Turner, the Field Secretary of the Connecticut State Park Com- 
mission. It is interesting to notice the important part that he and 
Horace Bushnell, also a native of our township, (he was born in 
Bantam in 1802), have played in the development of Connecticut 

Horace Bushnell was the originator of the project to make a 
public Park in the center of the city of Hartford. After a long 
fight for such an innovation, his plan was successfully carried 
through in 1854, the park now bearing his name. This was the 
first time that an appropriation of public funds was made in the 
state, and very possibly in the nation, for the j^urchase of land 
for park purposes. Heretofore, such parks or reservations as 
existed had been set apart out of public land or out of private gifts. 
It is hard to realize to-day, when millions of dollars are being spent 
annually by municipalities, states and the nation, for the purchase 
of land for park purposes and for the establishment of public forests, 


how recently and witli what difficulty the tirst appropriation of 
the kind was made, 

Albert M. Turner, as Field Secretary of the State Park Com- 
mission, has been the chief instrument in carrying out the extensive 
plans of that body since its formation in 1913. This State was 
one of the last to have a Park Commission, but it has made up for 
lost time by its Avise and energetic action. It is also interesting 
to note that the first gift to the Commission of land was made by 
Mrs. <i. A. Senft", of New York, of a tract on Mount Tom, lying 
partly in Litchfield, and partly in Morris and Washington. The 
tower at the summit of Mount Tom is included in the area of this 
park. It was constructed in 1888, from a design by Professor Henry 
S. Munroe, of the Department of Mining of Columbia University 
and a summer resident of Litchfield; the tower is 30 feet high and 
was modeled after an oil well tower and was so well designed and 
built that it is still in service at the present time, having withstood 
the high winds and storms of 32 years. The tower is 1,291 feet 
above sea level at its base. 


The village of Milton was settled from Litchfield about 1740. 
Some settlers also came from New Milford, notably David Welch, 
who built the oldest house now standing there, located at the 
entrance to the village on the Litchfield road. It dates from 1745 
and is the oldest house anywhere in our township, with the single 
exception of the Vaill House, at the foot of Brush Hill, which is 
a year older, but extensively remodeled. The Welch house is now 
known as the Bissell House, as it was the home of William Bissell, 
who was Captain of the Litchfield Company in the Litchfield County 
Eegiment in the Civil War. The house in Milton now known as the 
Welch House is situated at the farther extremity of the village and 
dates from 1774. This belonged to another branch of the same 

There was no church in Milton, which was at first known as 
West Farms, until 1795, Avhen the Parish was set off and incor- 
porated, including j^arts of the townships of Goshen, Cornwall and 
Warren. The building of the Episcopal Church was begun in 
1802. Morris says, p. 105, that neither of these churches was com- 
pleted in 1814. The Episcopal church is said to have been com- 
pleted in 1827, and to have been dedicated in 1837. The bell was 
added in 1843, a gift from Garry Welch and Hugh P. Welch. There 
has also been a Methodist church in Milton, which was moved to 
Bantam some years ago and converted into a dwelling. 

The Burying Ground lies nearly a mile west of the village, in 
a sheltered valley, enclosed by a substantial wall of quarried stone. 
Charles T. Payne says, p. 174, that no record of the date when this 
Cemetery was laid out remains, beyond the evidence of several 
tombstones of the; Eevolutionary period. It is spoken of in a deed 


of 1790, but is probably of considerably earlier date. Additions 
were made to it in 1813 and 1872. 

"Within the parochial limits of Milton", says Morris, p. 105, 
"there are five saw-mills; two grist-mills; two iron works; one trip- 
hammer; one carding machine for wool; one machine for manu- 
facturing wooden clocks; one waggon-maker; two turners; two shoe- 
makers; six whole school districts; and six school-houses, in which 
schools are kept through the year, by males in the winter season, 
and by females in the summer. The price for schoolmasters, is 
from 9 to 12 dollars per month and their board; for school-mistresses, 
from 5 to 6 shillings per week and their board". By the concen- 
tration of industries in the valleys and by the centralization of the 
schools, this long list of a century ago is reduced to one mill and 
one school. 

The Shepherd Knapp Fresh Air Home, which is located on the 
hill east of the village of Milton, was founded in 1905 by Mrs. 
Shepherd Knapp of Litchfield and New York, in memoiy of her 
husband. It is maintained as a branch of the New York Tribune 
Fresh Air Fund, and gives happy summer outings of two weeks 
each to a thousand or more city children every year. 

Among the citizens of Milton should be mentioned one of the 
Kevolutionary soldiers of the village, John Griswold, whom Eliza- 
beth C. Barney Buel, in her lecture to the Litchfield Scientific Asso- 
ciation, on the Industries of Litchfield, describes as the maker of the 
first model of an "iron Monitor". This he tested out on Milton 
Pond, so that it cannot have been very large. He never did any- 
thing with his invention, and heard of Ericsson's earliest experi- 
ments with an iron turreted ship only two days before he died, 
December 22, 1847. Ericsson's experiments did not bear fruit until 
the real Monitor was constructed, fifteen years later. 


The following account of Bantam has been summarized from 
data specially contributed by Herman Foster of that Borough. 
Originally the name Bantam was given to the whole district, covering 
so extensive an area that our Goshen was known as New Bantam 
prior to its settlement in 1738. When our to^vnship was denomi- 
nated Litchfield in 1715, the name Bantam was used in a constantly 
more restricted sense, until at one time only the Lake and the 
Falls carried on the name. The remainder of the present village, 
towards the West, was known as Bradleyville, from the Bradley 
family, several branches of which were prominent here in the early 
Nineteenth Century. Here the old Bradleyville Tavern was the 
Mecca for excursions of the young people from Litchfield, and one 
of the regular stopping places for the four horse coaches from New 
York and Danbury. 

The origin of the name Bantam has caused much perplexity. 
Morris and Woodruff attribute it without question to an Indian 
origin. Kilboume suggested that it might have been derived from 


an East Indian Bantam in Java. This remote town, being known 
to the early English traders as a wild region, inhabited by a race 
of barbarians, would, according to the KUboume theory, naturally 
have lent its name to a similar tract in the New World. His theory 
has always been interesting, but never entirely convincing. It should 
not be dismissed without a study of the various arguments he pre- 
sents, which space prevents our reproducing here. We may add a 
curious circumstance to the evidence he presents, namely that, when 
Ohio was being settled largely from Connecticut after the sale of 
the Western Eeserve lands, two of the villages near Cincinnati 
were called respectively Bantam and Batavia. They are nearer 
indeed to one another in Ohio than their namesakes are in Java, 
and the Bantam unquestionably came by way of our township. 
There are also, for those who seek a remote ancestor, a Cape Ban- 
tam in Indo-China, and a village of Bantama in the Gold Coast of 

This plurality of barbarian Bantams suggests that the word 
is perhaps a corruption of some native jargon as heard by English 
«ars, and this brings us back to the older hypothesis that it sprung 
from some phrase of our own Indian tribes. One interesting sup- 
position says that Pe-an-tum meant a Praying Indian, referring to 
some early local chief converted perhaps by the first Moravian mis- 
sionary visits into the Wilderness from the Dutch settlements 
beyond the Hudson. Unfortunately for such a tradition, no Mora- 
vians came to our parts until ten years or more after the name 
Bantam was in general use, and even then it is doubtful if they 
came any nearer than to New Milford. The sum total of the 
discussion is that we shall never know more of the etymology of 
Bantam than of that of the later name for the township, Litchfield. 
New evidence is more likely to confuse than to explain. 

The outlet of Bantam Lake, as it approaches the present village 
of Bantam, tumbles nearly one hundred feet in the course of three- 
quarters of a mile, in which distance there were at one time six 
dams furnishing water power for as many varied industries. After 
leaving Bantam, the stream races on down the hills and through 
the valleys, until its waters finally are merged in the Shepaug Eiver, 
passing on into the Housatonic River, and thence into Long Island 

This wealth of Avater power has made Bantam potentially the 
richest section of the township. Recognition of the advantages 
presented was slow in coming. In the chapter on the older indus- 
tries, we found here little beyond the paper mill and the other mills, 
not notably in advance of those elsewhere in the town. As the indus- 
tries of Connecticut began to pass from the hilltops to the valleys 
in the forties, Bantam was still comparatively neglected. In 1876, 
C. F. Flynn and William Doyle formed the firm of Flynn and Doyle, 
took over the business of the earlier Litchfield Carriage Company, 
and, until 1911, carried on an extensive manufacture of carriages, 


wagons and sleighs, reaching in some years an output of $40,000. 
Their products were of a high standard and their market extended 
far beyond the state. In 1911, the Company was merged into the 
Flynn and Doyle Co., which was continued until the death of Mr. 
Flynn. Mr. Doyle carried on the business for another year, until 
1918, when it was discontinued. In April, 1919, the factory was 
taken over by the Bantam Auto Eepair Station. 

It was not till about 1900 that the great growth of Bantam 
began. In twenty j'ears the population has grown from 400 to 
1,000, actually stemming the tide of declining population which for 
over a century has steadily been depleting the whole township. If 
our resident jiopulation is again to increase materially, the impetus 
will probably continue to come mainly from this growing industrial 
center. Besides the Flynn and Doyle Co., should be mentioned the 
Litchfield Electric Light and Power Co.; the Connecticut Electric- 
Co., manufacturers of electric fixtures; the Trumbull- Vanderpoel 
Co., manufacturers of electric switches; and the Bantam Ball Bear- 
ing Co., manufacturers of ball and roller bearings. Further 
particulars regarding the business of these several plants will be 
found in the Appendix. 

Another extensive industry of quite another kind is situated 
just outside of Bantam, on the north-west shore of the Lake. This 
is the Berkshire Ice Co., whose long trains pull out daily in the 
summer, carrying concentrated relief from the Litchfield Hills to 
the larger cities to the southwards. Some idea of the work done 
by the Company on the Lake during the coldest days of the winter 
may be gathered from the single fact that it takes forty acres of 
ice one foot in thickness to furnish the 75,000 tons required to fill the 
ice-house of the Company. In the harvesting of ice, the electricity 
furnished by the harnessing of the Bantam Falls does the work 
of great bodies of men. 

The village of Bantam has been incorporated as a Borough 
since 1915. The incorporation was due to the energies of W. S. 
Kogers, when he was a member of the state legislature, and it has 
resulted in furnishing the village with many advantages, such as 
sidewalks, sewers, fire protection, and the like. Mr. Eogers has 
been in many respects the presiding genius of Bantam. The pros- 
perity enjoyed by the Bantam Ball Bearing Co., has been translated 
by him into terms of civic improvement which have benefited the 
Avhole community. About five years ago, he purchased the present 
Borough Hall from the old Bantam Village Improvement Society, 
and made it a gift to the borough. It is largely used for borough 
uses and for social entertainments. During the war it furnished 
indoor drilling space for the Bantam platoon of the Litchfield 
Home Guard, 

Other gifts of Mr. Kogers have been made in connection with his 
factory and the welfare of his employees, which has always been a 
prime consideration with him and his assistant. Miss Nellie M. Scott. 


The recreation theatre and club-room in the new building of the fac- 
tory is also used for certain entertainments of the churches, and for 
moving picture plays for the school-children, and for other popular 
purposes. An Athletic Field is also one of the assets of Bantam, 
through this company, with its baseball teams, a gun-club, and 
similar organizations. 

Besides its extensive manufacturing growth. Bantam is also 
gaining in prestige through its nearness to the Lake. While the 
summer resort region of the Lake, with its several Hotels, numerous 
boarding houses, boys' and girls' camps, and many private camps, 
is over the border in the town of Morris, the railway connection 
for the district is principally through Bantam, which also furnishes 
extended shopping facilities. 

Originally, Bantam Falls and Bradleyville were divided like 
the rest of the town into several school districts, each with its 
separate school building. In 1893 the new central school in Ban- 
tam was opened, replacing the several scattered older little build- 
ings by a large and commodious edifice, which for some years 
Bernard M. Eoberg, Miss Josephine Mitchell, and Miss Baker have 
made one of the most successful and popular schools in the town. 
The old Bradleyville schoolhouse has now been converted into a 
hen house by Teed Loveland. 

Bantam's churches have been of the Episcopal, Methodist and 
Baptist denominations. It is significant that there has been no 
Congr^ational church, so that the village was not set off as a 
separate parish, as were Milton, Northfleld, and South Farms. This 
undoubtedly contributed to retard the growth of the settlement, 
from the subordinate position so long occupied by the other denomi- 

St. Paul's Episcopal church, as is told elsewhere, was born 
of a temporary division in the First Episcopal Society. It was 
located opposite the Bantam Burying Ground, and completed in 
1797. It was a building 50 by 36 feet, with a steeple, deep galleries, 
and an old fashioned high pulpit and sounding board, with all of the 
antique surroundings corresponding to the age of its erection. The 
new church, somewhat to the west, was built in 1843, and consecrated 
the following year. Additions have since been made to it, including 
a fine chancel with ornamental windows and a beautiful pipe 
organ. The pastor of St. Paul's shares the pulpit in Milton. 

The Baptist church in Bantam is not at present in use for ser- 
vices. The Methodist church, however, which was built in 1901, 
is very active, with a membership of over one hundred. The church 
is a handsome one, free of debt, with an attractive home for its 
pastors, and with a record of earnest endeavor which is leading to 
continued growth. 

It has seemed better to treat of the outlying villages of the 
town separately in this chapter, so as to indicate something of their 
individual characters, but their history is really inextricably inter- 


woven in that of tlie whole township. Many details regarding each 
of these outlying districts will therefore be found elsewhere, in the 
general accounts of the industries of the town, of its churches, and 
of the parts played by the citizens in our wars. Many of the 
names of the heroes of each village appear only under the combined 
Honor KoUs of the whole towniship. Exact statistics for a sub- 
division are not available, and after all the separate villages still 
form, save for the loss of South Farms, one township. Litchfield 
claims as its sons Horace Bushnell, who was born in Bantam, and 
John Pierpont, who was born in South Farms, ahead of any other 
ministers born on its soil, excepting Henry Ward Beech er; and the 
future of the township, as well as its past, is dependent on a united 
growth, which will be brought closer by the gradual improvement in 
the roads between villages, and in the organizations, like the Farm 
Bureau, which unite the corresponding interests of the separate 


f ^^m I ftk iHs 







Ill 1827 the First Ecclesiastical Society voted to erect a new 
church, on the site occupied by the present (fourth) Congregational 
Church. The church was completed in two years, and dedicated 
on the same day that the installation took place, July 15, 1829, of the 
new pastor, Rev. Laurens P. Hickok, A copy of Park Street 
Church of Boston, standing high above a flight of massive granite 
steps, with tall pillared porch, it was a well built, imposing edifice. 
It stood until the building of the fourth church in 1873; it was 
then moved to the Torrington Road, where for many years it was 
known as Armory Hall, while about six years ago it was bought 
by George Barber and the name changed to Colonial Hall. It is 
used as a public Hall for general purposes and more particularly 
for a Moving Picture Theatre. 

The first pipe-organ of the Society was installed in August 1829. 
It was made by Jackson, in New York, and was sent by boat to 
New Haven, from whence it was brought in three great loads. It 
was the gift of Jabez W. Huntington, William H. Tliompson, and 
Dr. Sheldon. 

The Congregational Church has been fortunate in having a 
long series of devoted ministers, the names of a few of whom are 
especially connected with Litchfield. Admirable biographies of 
them are to be found in a scrap book of the Church compiled by 
Miss Anna W. Richards, and preserved in the collections of the 
Litchfield Historical Society. 

Miss Richards' father, Rev. George Richards, was the pastor 
of the church from 1860 to 1865, during the troubled days of the 
Civil War. He assisted largely in moulding the loyal public 
opinion of Litchfield, and stood steadfast and strong in maintain- 
aiice of our endangered institutions. 

Rev. Allan McLean, who was minister from 1875 to his death 
in 1882, is remembered as a man of high literary gifts as well as 
of a sympathetic and kindly nature. On October 1, 1876, he 
delivered an address on the History of the Litchfield church, which 
remains a valuable source of information about the early years 
of the parish. 

His successor, Rev. Charles Symington, was the pastor from 
1883 to 1894. Like the Rev. Allan McLean, he died before he was 


forty five years of age, while in the full Adgor of his ministry, much 
lamented by his parishioners and fellow-townspeople. 

The Eev, John Hutchins, who succeeded him, was his brother- 
in-law; he was a deep student and his researches had a wide range, 
covering the fields of astronomy and natural history. His love of 
flowers and birds, and his knowledge of them, was very extensive, 
and his influence was especially helpful in stimulating additions to 
the scientific collections now owned by the Historical Society. He 
died on February 20, 1915. 

The modern Gothic church now used by the Society was built 
in 1873, and the Chapel in the same year. The prayer, at the dedi- 
cation services, was ofi'ered by Kev. Laurens P. Hickok, who had 
dedicated the previous church in 1829, forty four years before. 


The following account of the early days of the Episcopal Church 
in Litchfield is from Kilbourne's History, pp. 177-182: 

"In 1735, John Davies, of Kinton, Hertfordshire, England, pur- 
chased a tract of land in the south-west comer of the township, 
and not long after took up his abode in that wild and unfrequented 
region. He was warmly attached to the doctrines and forms of 
the Church of England, and was for some time the only Episcopalian 
in Litchfield. The unpopularity of Mr. Collins, of the Congre- 
gational Society, at length induced several of the leading members 
of his congregation to withdraw themselves from his ministry and 
to look elsewhere for religious instruction. On November 5, 1745, a 
meeting was called at the house of Captain Jacob Griswold at 
which the First Episcopal Society of Litchfield was organized. The 
first service after the English ritual was performed in this town 
by the Eev. Dr. Samuel Johnson, President of King's (now Columbia) 
College in the city of New York. At an adjourned Town-meeting, held 
February 16, 1747, it Avas voted, that 'those who declared themselves 
members of the Church of England last year, shall be discharged 
from paying two-thirds of the Kate that was made for them to pay 
the last year'. This was one short step towards Toleration. In that 
year John Davies deeded to the Episcopal Society in Litchfield a 
tract of land situated about one mile west of the present Court 
House, containing 52 acres. This deed was in the form of a lease, 
for the term of 999 years, for the use of the 'Society for Propagating 
the Gospel in Foreign Parts', for which there was to be paid 'one 
pepper- corn annually, at or upon the Feast of St. Michael the Arch- 
angel, if lawfully demanded' The first church edifice of the 

Parish was raised upon this tract, April 23, 1749. It was covered; 
seats, pulpit, reading desk and chancel were made; and it was used 
in this condition for about twenty years before it was finished. It 
was named St. Michael's, ^yy request of Mr. Davies". This church 
stood on the south side of the Bantam Koad, about a mile from the 
center, at the top of the hill beyond the little Hatters' Brook. From 


the notes published with the Centennial Sermon of the Kev. Isaac 
Jones, November 5, 1845, it would appear that the original gift of 
Mr. Davies included about fifty acres, that Daniel Landon gave a 
second tract of fifty acres adjoining, and that Mr. Davies bought 
two acres more, so as to give the Society access to the Brook. Kil- 
bourne says the gift of Daniel Landon was 50 acres "lying west- 
ward of the Great Pond, near a mountain called Little Mount Tom". 
However this may be, when the church was given up for the one 
built on South Street in 1810, all the outlying land of the church 
was sold and the proceeds invested for the benefit of the Society. 

"In 1749, John Davies, Jr., the only surviving son of the first 
benefactor of the parish, came over from Hertfordshire, with a wife 
and several young children, and settled near his father, south-west 
of Mount Tom, at a place still known as Davies Hollow. As he 
was a gentleman of good estate and an ardent churchman, his 
arrival was regarded as an important accession to the Episcopal 
Society. His wife, whose maiden name was Mary Powell, was 
verj'^ reluctant to leave her native land. That she should have 
regarded her new home in the wilderness as cheerless and lonely, 
compared with the scenes she had left, is not to be wondered at. In 
writing home to her English friends, she is said to have described 
herself as 'entirely alone, having no society, and nothing to asso- 
ciate with but Presbyterians and Wolves'. The reader may be 
interested in the fact, that though the wolves long since disappeared 
from Davies Hollow, some of her own descendants are now num- 
bered among the sect of Christians which she seems to have regarded 
with such abhorrence. 

"From the organization of the society in 1745, to 1754, they were 
without a settled minister. The Kev. Drs. Mansfield, Johnson, 
Cutler and Beach, occasionally officiated here; and in the absence 
of a clergyman, prayers were sometimes read by Mssrs. Davies, 
Landon and Cole. The first rector of St. Michael was the Kev. 
Solomon Palmer, who had been pastor of the Congregational Church 
in Cornwall from 1741 to 1754. In March of the preceding year, 
to the great surprise and grief of his people, he on the Sabbath 
publicly announced himself an Episcopalian in sentiment. He 
soon after sailed for England, where he was ordained Deacon and 
Priest; and returned to this country^ during the same year, 1754, 
bearing a commission from the Venerable Society as missionary for 
Litchfield, Cornwall and Great Barrington". 

Owing to the disfavor with which the Church of England was 
looked upon during the Kevolution, St. Michael's was closed for 
three years, and re-opened in 1780. The Kev. James Nichols was 
the rector at the time, and resumed his duties when the church was 
re-opened. The Society from that time gradually increased in 
numbers and in public favor. On the 26th of October, 1784, it 
was incorporated by an Act of the General Assembly, and thereupon 
it was duly organized according to law. 


The Kev. James Nichols was the last man who Avent from Con- 
necticut to England to secure ordination, and his successor, Kev. 
Ashbel Baldwin, a native of Litchfield, was the first man to be 
ordained in the United States, upon the return of Bishop Seabury, 
who had gone to Scotland to be consecrated. The ordination was 
held at Middletown, August 3, 1785. 

In 1796, a large number of Episcopalians residing in the west- 
erly part of the town seceded and formed the Second Episcopal 
Society. In 1803, the two Societies were amicably re-united, and 
so continue at the present time. During this interval of disunion 
the Second Society built itself a church opposite the Cemetery 
in Bantam, which became known as the Old West Church and was 
occupied for Avorship until 1843; when a new edifice was built a 
short distance farther west. The new church was called St. Paul's. 

The churches of St. Michael in Litchfield, St. Paul's in Bantam, 
and Trinity in IVEilton, all form pa rt of the First Episcopal Society ; 
while Trinity Church in Northfield belongs to a separate society. 

In 1810 there was still no Episcopal Church within the present 
limits of our Borough. This served to help in retarding the 
growth of the congregation, and in that year it was decided to 
give up the original church and to build on the site now in use. 
This second St. Michael's cliurch was retained until 1851; when the 
third church was built on the same site. A fourth church, in 
stone, is in course of erection at the time of writing, 1920, a gift 
to St. Michael's Parish from Henry E. Towne, in memory of his 
wife, Mrs. Cora White Towne. 

The history of the Litchfield parish during the nineteenth 
century was uneventful. One of the rectors, Eev. H. N. Hudson, 
who was in charge from 1858 to 1860, is remembered for his 
Shakespeare studies, his edition of the Plays having remained the 
standard American edition for many years. Part of his great 
work was carried out while he was resident here. 

On April 11, 1894, in a great storm, the steeple of the church 
was blown over. It was not replaced. 

No mention of St. Michael's parish would be adequate which did 
not speak of the Eev. Storrs O. Seymour, who was the rector from 
1879 to 1883, and again from 1893 to 1916, and Eector Emeritus until 
his death in 1918. Dr. Seymour, was born in Litchfield in 1836, the 
son of Judge Origen Storrs Seymour. He was educated at Andover, 
and graduated from Yale in 1857, and from the Berkeley Divinity 
School in 1861. During the years that he Avas absent from Litchfield 
he was successively rector of parishes in Milford and Bethel, Conn., 
Pawtucket, E. I., and NorAvich and Hartford, Conn. He was a member 
of the Standing Committee of the Diocese of Connecticut from 1876 
until his death, and Avas the chairman of the Committee since 1896. 
He received the Honorary Degree of D. D. from Trinity College in 
1897. He was also for many years a Trustee of Berkeley DiAdnity 

/ >. 


* e 



''^^^^^^■m^^'^^^^^^S^^'^^^f^^'^^^^^'^*^*^^^*'^'**'''^^*^^ '^*'"" 

The Third (Present) St. Michaei/s Episcopal Church, 1851 






School, The affection which Dr. Seymour inspired in everyone in 
Litchfield, in his church and outside of it, is a recent and tender 


Of the beginnings of Methodism in Litchfield, Kilbourne tells 
us the following, pp. 183-184: -'In June, 1790, the Rev. Freeborn 
Garretson, one of the ablest and most earnest Apostles of Method- 
ism in America, visited Litchfield on his way from the Hudson 
river to Boston. He was at that time Superintendent of the North- 
ern District, and, in his itinerant journeyings, was almost invariably 
attended by his colored servant, Harry, who was himself a licensed 
preacher of no mean distinction. They traveled together on horse- 
back apparently vieing with each other in their zeal for the pro- 
motion of the cause of their common Master. On Wednesday, June 
23, (as we learn from Dr. Stevens' Memorials of Methodism), Mr. 
Garretson "rode seven miles to Litchfield, and was surprised to 
find the doors of the Episcopal church open, and a large congre- 
gation waiting for him. He discoursed from the Avords: 'Enoch 
walked with God', and believed good was done. He left Harry to 
preach another sermon, and went on to the centre of the town; the 
bell rang, and he preached to a few in the Presbyterian meeting- 
house, and lodged with a kind churchman". On the same day, Mr. 
Garretson wrote in his diary: "I preached in the skirts of the town, 

where I was opposed by , who made a great disturbance. I 

told him the enemy had sent him to pick up the good seed, turned 
my back on him, and went my way, accompanied by brothers W. and 
H. I found another waiting company, in another part of the town, 
to Avhom I declared: 'Except ye repent ye shall all likewise perish'. 
In this town we have given the devil and the wicked much trouble; 
we have a few good friends". On his return from Boston, Mr, 
Garretson again preached in Litchfield, Friday, July 13, 1790". 

The Eev. Geo. C. Boswell adds. Book of Days, p. 99: "It is 
pleasant to remember that the Episcopal and Congregational 
churches in Litchfield were open to the early itinerant. His 

colaborers in other parts of the State did not generally fare so 

Kilbourne, continuing, says: "The Litchfield Circuit was organ- 
ized during the spring of 1790, aiul embraced the north-western sec- 
tion of Connecticut. . . . On July 21, 1791, the famous Bishop 
Asbury preached in the Episcopal church in this toAvn. In refer- 
ence to his visit here, he wrote: 'I think Morse's account of his 
countrymen is near the truth; never haA^e I seen any people who 
could talk so long, so correctly and so seriously about trifles. . . . ' 

"In 1837, a handsome church edifice was erected by the Method- 
ists, in Meadow Street, Avhich Avas dedicated on July 27 of that 
year. The dedication sermon Avas preached by Professor Holdich, 
of the Wesleyan University; and an appropriate discourse was 
delivered by the Rev. Mr. Washburn. 


"The late Eev. Horace Agard and the Eev. Joseph L. Morse are, 
so far as I can learn, the only natives of the town who have become 
Methodist ministers". 

In 1885 the present Methodist church on West Street was built 
to accomodate the increasing congregation, and the old church was 
converted into the Masonic Hall of St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11, F. and 
A. M. 

In addition to the church in the center, there have been three 
other Methodist churches in the town, one at Milton and one near 
Mount Tom, but the use of these two is at the present time dis- 
continued. The third is the Methodist church in Bantam, an 
account of which is given elsewhere. 


There is at the present moment no Baptist church in active 
use within the township. The Clergj^ of Litchfield Gounty tells of 
very early churches in ISTorthfield and in Footville, the westerly 
part of South Farms; but both of these have disappeared long ago. 
Their only successor still standing is the building of the Baptist 
church in Bantam. The Baptist Society of Bantam Falls was 
formed on January 18, 1853, with ten charter members. This 
society was merged, January 4, 1891, into the Baptist Society of 
Bantam, Conn., which continued to hold services until about 1903. 
In 1908, a new and very unusual opportunity came to this church. 
The opening of a saloon was contemplated opposite the factory of 
the Bantam Anti-Friction Co., now the Ball Bearing Co. Relying 
on the law that no saloon can be opened within a given distance of 
a church, W. S. Rogers, with characteristic energy, offered to bring 
the Baptist church up from its location near the falls to a position 
on South Street, near the factory. On June 19, 1908, a committee 
was appointed by the church to make arrangements with Mr. Rogers, 
and soon after the little building began its march up the hill into 
its new field of action. It was nearly two weeks upon the road, 
and appropriately rested on the two Sundays of its journey in 
turn opposite to the Methodist church, which had developed through 
the separation of a group of members from the Baptist Society itself, 
and then opposite to the Episcopal church of St. Paul. On its 
new site and under a new environment, it renewed its activities, 
with new members, new financial support and a new social order of 
affairs. In May, 1909, Ray H. Legate was called to the pulpit, and 
services were conducted under several pastors until 1915, when the 
services were discontinued. During the European War, the build- 
ing was turned over to the Bantam branch of the Litchfield Chapter, 
American Red Cross, where yoeman service was performed by the 
ladies of Bantam. 


"The first Catholics to come within the confines of Litchfield 
were three Acadians, the victims of English oppression. Sybil Shear- 






away, one of them, married Thomas Harrison in 1764 and their 
descendants are still residents of Litchfield". (Kev. J. H. O'Don- 
nell, History of the Diocese of Hartford, 1900, p. 293). 

"It is not until January 1759", (Kilbourne, p. 77), "that our 
town records make any allusion to these people. At this date it 
was 'voted that the Selectmen may provide a house or some suit- 
able place in the town, for the maintenance of the French'. In the 
County Treasurer's book, also, occurs the following entry, 'To paid 
John Newbree for keeping William Dunlap and the French persons, 
54s. 6d. which the County allowed, and R. Sherman, Justice of the 
Quorum, drew an order dated April 25, 1760, as per order on file* ". 

"From this time on we find no trace of Catholicity in Litchfield 
until the period when Irish emigration was at its height. Irish 
people settled here in the rural districts and devoted themselves to 
the pursuits of agricultural life. ... 

"The first priest to visit Litchfield was the Rev. John Smith, of 
Albany, who made a missionary tour through this section of the 
State in 1848 on horseback, seeking out and ministering to the 
Catholics whom he might find hera On one of these tours he 
tarried at Litchfield and said Mass, but where, has passed from 
remembrance. Bishop O'Reilly visited Litchfield on February 
25, 1851, as his journal informs us. ... 

"The second Mass was said in the house occupied at the time 
by John Ryan, on the west side of North Lake Street. This historic 
Mass was said by Rev. Philip Gillick in 1853, in the presence of 
twenty persons. At this time, or at least in the same year, was 
solemnized the first Catholic marriage in Litchfield, Father Gillick 
officiating". (Diocese of Hartford, p. 293). 

A convert to the Catholic faith, born in Litchfield, Miss Julia 
Beers, purchased a small building, in 1858, which now forms part 
of the pastoral residence. The present dining room of the house, 
she arranged with altar and seats, and here Mass was said at fre- 
quent intervals until 1861, when increasing numbers made removal 
to the Court House necessary. In 1868, the first church was com- 
pleted. During these years and until 1882 the pastors of Winsted 
served the people of Litchfield. On September 8, 1882, Litchfield 
was made an independent Parish, with the Rev. M. Byrne the first 
resident pastor. During the administration of Rev. Timothy M. 
Sweeney, the present Church was built, at a cost of $23,000. 

As auxiliaries to the pastors of St. Anthony's parish, Miss Beers 
and another convert. Miss Emma Deming, labored zealously to pro- 
mote the welfare of the Church and its congregation. Miss Beers, 
in the last years of her life, lived in Rome, where she is buried. 


The work of Charles T. Payne, Litchfield and Morris Inscrip- 
tions, 1905, was published at the suggestion and with the support 
of Dwight C. Kilbourn. It gives a complete and admirable state- 


ment of all the Cemeteries and private Burying Grounds in the 
original limits of the township, together with transcripts of all the 
inscriptions down to 1900, which were legible when the collection 
was made. Particulars regarding the several Cemeteries in South 
Farms, Northfield, Milton, and Bantam are given elsewhere from 
this same source. We will quote here the notes of Mr. Payne on 
our West and East Cemeteries, pp. 8, 54. 

"The West Burying Ground is the earliest of the Burial places 
in Litchfield, and its establishment was nearly contemporaneous 
with the founding of the Town. The first notice of it appears in 
Vol. I of the Land Kecords, as follows: 

" 'An acompt of the High Ways in Litchfield in 1723 . . . the 
2d high way Eumiing East and West between Samuel Smedly his 
home Lott and the WidoAv alien's home Lott of twenty eight Bods 
in bredth Sixty Bods West and then is twelue Bods Wide down to 
the swamp and then is laid out but six rods Wide thorou the swamp 
Which highway runs on the West side of the letle plain buting 
north upon Land Laid out to John Gay to make up the fifteen acres 
for his home Lott and so continuel a West Line until it comes to 
the SAvanij) or flooded Lands and all the Land upon the letele playn 
South of said highway to the swamp or flooded land Avhich is not 
yet Laid out is Eesarued and Laid out for a burying place. Which 
highway at the West End of the litle plain or burying place runs six 
Bods Wide throro the swamp and across the hill called buck's Neak 
With the same corce and bredth until it comes to the pine plain 
Which high Way is Called by name of Middiel Street'. 

"Here were interred nearly all of the pioneers of Litchfield and 
the yard remained the principal burying ground of the Town until 
the Bevolution. 

"Early in the Nineteenth Century a large tract was added on 
the Western side". The Eoman Catholic Cemetery adjoins this 
upon the West. 

"The East Burying Ground has become the largest of the ceme- 
teries in the township, although it was the third one to be estab- 
lished, and was at first, as is noted below, a part of the highway 
set apart for the purpose. It lies half a mile east of the court-house. 
The followi}ig record in the first town book is of interest: 

"'September 26, 1754 ...At the same Meeting Messrs. Samuel 
Culver Joshua Gari'itt & Edward Phelps were chosen committee to 
lay out a Burying Place in the East Side of the Town where & how 
much they shall think proper'. 

"The laying out of this ground is recorded in the land records 
under date pf January 12, 1755. . . . 

"In 1837 the yard was enlarged upon its Avestem side by an 
addition of sixteen rods. The next year further extension was made 
on the northern side, and the town voted a part of the highway for 
the same purpose. The stone wall in front of the ground on East 
Street was built about 1850 by subscription. 


"Within fifteen years a corporation known as the Litchfield 
Cemetery Association has purchased a tract of land between the 
ancient yard and Torrin^on Eoad and has laid it out with much 
care. Many fine monuments have been erected upon the new 

"In the southeast corner of the old burying yard lie a great 
number of Kevolutionary soldiers who died during the war, and 
were buried here without any distinguishing marks". 



Frederick Wolcott died at Litchfield on Sunday morning, May 
28, 1837. The funeral Sermon was preached by the pastor of the 
Congregational Church, Rev. Jonathan Brace, who said in closing: 
" ... He is gone, and he is the last of his order. Reeve has been 
carried out before him. ..." 

And in the Personal Memories of E. D. Mansfield, p. 125, after 
reading of the Wolcotts, Tallmadges, Seymours, Buels, Tracy, and 
others, we come on this passage: "All this is gone, and nothing can 
illustrate the evanescent state of our society more than the changes 
which it has undergone in many of the old places in the old states. 
However excellent or able may be the people who live in Litch- 
field now, there is no such social gloiy, no such marked superiority 
there, as that which distinguished the noted people of Litchfield in 
the generation just passing away, when I came upon the stage. 
The change in people, manners, and conditions is quite as great 
as the change in the dress of gentlemen. When I was a law 
student, 1823, a few old gentlemen still retained the dress of the 
Revolution. It was a powdered queue, white-topped boots, silk 
stockings, and breeches with buckles. I can remember to have seen 
David Daggett, chief justice, and a half dozen others, walking in 
the streets with this dignified dress. It is in vain to say that the 
present dress is at all equal to it, in what ought to be one of the 
objects of good dress, to give an idea of dignity and respect. The 
man who is now inside of a plain black dress, with unpretending 
boots, may be as good a man, as able a man, as he in white-topped 
boots and breeches, but he is not respected as much, for he no 
longer assumes as much. He has become only one of a multitude 
instead of being one above a multitude". 

Certainly great changes have come upon Litchfield; we have 
only to compare the wilderness of 1720, with a few settlers dwelling 
in their log huts, without flour to bake bread, without even an 
apple or adequate seeds to raise vegetables; with the social, educa- 
tional, commercial center of 1820, when the chief magistrate of 
the State lived in Litchfield, and the teachings of Lyman Beecher 
were to be heard twice every Sunday. Or again we have only to com- 
pare this Litchfield of 1820 with the summer resort of 1920, when 
we no longer give out an influence important far beyond the County, 
but instead receive and welcome those from outside our borders, and 
give them a measure of recreation and health, to do which we seem 
particularly adapted. 


Such changes as these are very hard for us to realize. Barely 
two lifetimes, as lifetimes are counted in Litchfield, have passed in 
the course of these changes. Keuben Dickinson, a resident of Mil- 
ton, was born in Massachusetts in the year 1716, four years before 
the settlement of Litchfield; he died in Milton on November 5, 1818, 
at the age of 102 years. His great-grand-nephew, Edwin Perry 
Dickinson was born in Milton on January 4, 1821, and is now living 
there, in good health, in his one-hundredth year. 

As we look back, it is not possible to say, this period ends here, 
or that period begins there. But we make such generalizations, 
knowing them to be inaccurate, so as to have some measure, even if 
the measure be inexact, of the transitions our town has passed 
through. As a matter of fact, the transition is constant. Our 
town has never stood still. Each year definite links with the past 
are broken, and new links with the future are being made. We 
do not know what the future is to be, so we do not recognize the 
importance of the new links; and we never have the true perspective 
of the immediate past, so we do not notice the parting links. It 
is only at the death of a man, whose life has been noteworthy, as 
was that of Frederick Wolcott, or after a radical change, such as 
Mansfield noted, has become a completed fact, that we speak of the 
old order changing. That is the shortcoming of history, and if we 
speak of the year 1840 marking an important point in the story of 
our town, Ave do so only because it is the end of a decade, and a 
time somewhere near which certain influences, already long sinci 
waning, seem to have entirely ceased, and others, already apparent, 
first become dominating. 

Of the passing influences, one w^as that of the men who had 
been young and active in the days of the Kevolution, men built in a 
large mould, as it seems to us, or rather developed to a great pitch 
of efficiency and piiblic responsibility by the necessities of their 
young manhood. On June 1, 1833, Oliver Wolcott Jr. died; on 
March 7, 1835, Benjamin Tallmadge died; on May 28, 1837, Fred- 
erick Wolcott died; on January 23, 1838, Julius Deming died; on 
May 11, 1838, James Gould died. The old institutions of Litch- 
field also changed in this period: the Law School w^as closed in 
1833; on October 31 of the same year, Miss Gimbred became the 
principal of the Litchfield Academy in the stead of Miss Sarah 
Pierce. Tapping Eeeve, Moses Seymour, Uriah Tracy had died at 
dates much earlier. Lyman Beecher had been called to a larger 
field in Boston in 1826. 

But the change was not alone in the passing of a few men. 
The whole population of Litchfield was involved. As we have not 
yet referred to the numerical population of the township, a few 
figures may be in order here. 

In 1756, the inhabitants of Litchfield township, including South 
Farms, numbered 1,366. The population of the state was 130,012. 


Litchfield was tlie 35tli town in i)opulation in tlie state, and included 
about 1 per cent, of the total number of inhabitants. 

The growth was rapid. In 1774, we had 2,544 inhabitants; 
in 1782, 3,077; in 1800, 4,285. Litchfield was then the 10th town in 
the state. In 1810, the population was 4,639; about 2 per cent of 
the total for the state; and the town was the fourth in point of 
population in the whole state. Only New Haven, Hartford and 
Middletown were larger; but the remarkable thing is that New 
Haven, the largest of all, was only half as large again as Litch- 
field, its population being 6,967. 

Then came the turn in the tide. In 1820, the population had 
declined just a little to 4,610; but we had lost fourth place to 
Groton. In 1830, Norwich and Saybrook passed us, and we were 
seventh, with 4,456. In 1840, Bridgeport, Danbury and New Lon- 
don passed us, leaving us the 10th town, with 4,038. In 1850, the 
decline had reached 3,953. In 1860, owing to the separation of 
South Farms, we fell to the 39th place in the state, with only 3,200 
inhabitants. Since then the population has not greatly changed, 
though it reached the lowest figure of all at the last census: 1870, 
pop. 3,113; 1880', pop. 3,410; 1890, pop. 3,304; 1900, pop. 3,214; 1910, 
pop. 3,005. At this last date we had fallen to the 64th township 
in the state, with only one-quarter percent, out of a total popula- 
tion for the state of 1,114,756. In other words, in just a century, 
we have fallen from fourth to 64th place, and our population rela- 
tive to that of the state has fallen from two per cent, to one-quarter 
per cent. It should be added that there are in the state 168 town- 
ships altogether. 

It is possible that the low water mark of 1910 will be found 
later to be the change in the tide. If so, it will be due solely to the 
growth of Bantam as a manufacturing center. 

There is another great change to be noticed about our popula- 
tion. If we contrast the quaint statement of Morris, p. 95, "Only 
two European families have settled in Litchfield; they came from 
Ireland, and were respectable", with the constantly increasing for- 
eign element at present, we shall get a real idea of the difference 
in the population. It is impossible to give any figures in this con- 
nection, because so many of our citizens of foreign birth have 
become Americanized, that no one can say who the foreigners now 
are. This is the happy solution of the immigration question, but 
it does not alter the fact that the people of the town are now in 
great part of other races than they were in 1820. 

There is another change to be considered, at about this time, 
which may seem a singular one to the reader; and that is the 
importance of the weather. The weather of course has not changed, 
but the way we consider it has. Our winters are proverbially 
severe. Philip P. Hubbard, whose house is located at the foot of 
East Hill, near the river, where low temperatures are produced by 
the atmospheric conditions, sometimes two or three degrees lower 


. V ■ -a».. •■:«s4i , ^.4 .jsfc 



than on tlie Hill, has observed a mean low temperature of about 
fifteen degrees below zero for a considerable period of years; while 
the extreme in severe winters has been 27 below. The severity 
of the climate is not due to these intensely cold spells, because they 
usually occur with crisp, suimy weather, and an absence of wind. 
The most severe weather occurs when the temperature is slightly 
above the minimum, but when high gales are raging, not infre- 
quently attaining 80 miles an hour, and sometimes even more. The 
exposed condition of the Hill affords little shelter from such gales, 
and when they are accompanied by drifting snow, or the destructive 
ravages of an ice storm, (see Plate 64), the experience is one to be 

One of the earliest great storms we read about was that on 
Thanksgiving Day, 1779, when young John Cotton Smith, Governor 
of the State in 1814, was a visitor with his father at Tapping 
Eeeve's house on his way from Sharon to New Haven, (Smith, 
Colonial Days and Ways, 1900, pp. 301-307) : "We found the roads 
badly drifted long before we reached what is now Ellsworth. At 
that point we had to leave our sleigh, while we pursued our journey 
on horseback. In those days no one travelled in any sort of a 
vehicle without taking along saddles for use in emergency It 
was dark before we reached Litchfield and the snow-laden wind 
was piercingly cold. . . . During the night the storm increased in 
violence and in the morning it was impossible to see many feet from 
the door on account of the whirling masses of a snow so hard, dry 
and powdery that it cut into the face like fine iron filings. ... In 
traversing the short distance from the house to the barn to attend 
to the wants of our animals, over a path hardly more than twenty 
yards long and partly sheltered by the wood-shed, we were almost 
blinded and bewildered. . . . On Wednesday the sun rose bright and 
clear over a dazzling desert of snow. The lower windows of most 
of the houses were hidden beneath great piles of drift. In some 
cases even the second story windows were hidden, or only visible 
through openings in the drift like the hooded bastions of some icy 
fort. . . . Fences and shrubs were obliterated. Trees, some looking 
like mountains of snow and some like naked and broken skeletons, 
arose here and there. And in the village only rising wreaths of 
smoke told that life existed in the half buried houses. The Meeting 
House spire was on one side decked by the icy snow with fantastic 
semblances of marble statuary over which the new long, black light- 
ning rod had been twisted by the wind until it looked like a Chinese 
character. . . . By nine o'clock we climbed out of an upper story 
window upon the hard crust of frozen snow and started off with 
no other burden than the light, but cumbersome snow shoes attached 
to our feet, and a small roll fastened to each of our backs". 

A still earlier storm is told about, without the date, during 
which Timothy Collins' wife, who became a physician like her 
husband, when the latter left the church, was called to Goshen. 


No other means of conveyance being possible, she was drawn all 
the way thither on a hand sled by two men, relatives of the patient. 
No effort was made to keep the roads open, even in the Center. As 
late as the Kevolution, occurs this vote, at a Town Meeting April 
10, 1780: "The question being proposed whether the Selectmen 
shall allow pay for making SnoAv Paths or Highway in the Winter? 
Voted in the Negative". 

Our storms often begin early in the winter and are met again 
late in the spring. Noah Webster, in his Diary, p. 561, speaks of 
a considerable fall of snow. May 8, 1803, adding, "In Litchfield the 
ice was half an inch thick; but the trees not foi*ward enough to 
suffer any injury". 

On March 22, 1837, there began a two days' ice storm which is 
said to have done damage in the town to timber and orchards to 
the extent of $100,000. During the winter of 1872-1873, Wil- 

liam Norton came to church on runners for twenty consecutive 
Sundays, a good record for the snow and for Mr. Norton too. 
(Book of Days, p. 57). The most destructive ice-storm was on 
February 19-20, 1898, when every tree in the town is said to have 
suffered. Many were snapped off ten or fifteen feet from the 
ground. Millions of icicles hung from the electric wires, which 
sagged in great loops and finally broke. The very blades of grass 
stood up stalagmites of ice. (Book of Days, p. 37). A year later, 
another great storm swept over the country, Februarj^ 13, 1899: 
"After a week of bitterly cold Aveather, when the mercury at its 
highest was only a few degrees above zero, and at its lowest threat- 
ened to disappe-^o" altogether, the blinding snow of a great storm 
filled the air. Drifts ten feet high were common enough; in some 
cases, the snow reached to second-story windows. From Monday 
noon till Wednesday night, Litchfield was under the snow block- 
ade". (Book of Days, p. 33). 

The winters of Litchfield are not all like this. The great 
storms are the exception. Many weeks are clear, bright, with a 
crisp snoAv that invites one out, or with the wonderful black ice on 
the Great Pond, which makes such memorable skating for the 
enthusiasts. Our rollicking diarist, George Younglove Cutler, gives 
a delightful account of a real winter night out-of-doors, (Vander- 
poel, pp. 204-205) : "November 28, 1820. Went to Waterbury & 
tomorrow morning before daylight, shall be obliged to be off in the 
cold — thro' the snow on horseback to Litchfield — all for this vex- 
atious law — cursed be the day when I first turned my face towards 
the fields of litigation. 

"November 29. It was no killing thing either. Much worse 
would it be to hang. For the moon was bright, the snow full of 
reflection, I full of breakfast, & Nate full of fire. While the cocks 
of the country crowed about us for musick & the stars shot this 
way and that about the heavens, as if making a display of fire- 
works for our amusement. All was silent. As we rose the hills 


& look back upon the far distance which ran down the valley 
to the south east, the two extremes of the splendor of the united 
powers of snow and moonbeams & the contrasted darkness of the 
deep ravines into which light would not penetrate, filled the whole 

To return, now, to the argument that the winters of Litchfield 
have assiuned an importance different from that they played a 
century ago, we should note that people are no longer content to 
travel considerable distances on horseback, or on snowshoes, or to 
be pulled for miles on hand-sleds. If our motors cannot go through 
we are greatly distressed. Even in the day of carriages and sleighs, 
the winters' drifts of Litchfield were dreaded. Gradually the win- 
ters have contributed more than would at first seem credible to the 
change of life in many of our residents. The call to the cities 
has been, in a small measure at least, accelerated, by the desire to 
avoid the cold and the discomfort. The same is apparent in our 
summer residents, who, even if they be persons of complete leisure 
and robust health, would rarely think of spending a winter here. 
Notice the closed houses of North Street and South Street on a 
morning of mid-winter. By actual count, more than half are 
closed, the larger percentage being on North Street. On Prospect 
Street, every house will be found desolate. The same holds in the 
outlying districts, where the large and small countryplaces are 
growing up, as distinguished from the old farms. 

But the great call to the cities was due to the growth of manu- 
facturing towns in the State. It is strange to-day to think of 
Litchfield, not being passed by Bridgeport and Danbury until 1840. 
But once passed, what a rush there has been! How the little 
manufactures have left our hill towns and clustered in the valleys! 

In still another respect, and one certainly not anticipated at 
the time, Litchfield was destined to drop behind. This was as a 
center of traffic. When the rail-roads came, they were hailed as a 
great innovation, a great developer of traffic and of trada But 
the railroads have left Litchfield high and dry, as they have many 
another hill town. We lost in a few years all the through stage 
traffic between Boston and Hartford and New York, between New 
Haven and Albany; and all that came in its stead was the long 
ride to New Milford, or later to East Litchfield, or later still the 
restless tossing of the Shepaug, with its solitary passengers, fast 
asleep, when the good old engine pulls its way at length into the 
terminus at the foot of Litchfield Hill. 

On February 11, 1840, the very year we have taken to mark 
the changed conditions, the Housatonic Kailroad was opened as 
far as New Milford. With the building of this road, the New 
York and Albany stage, which used to roll through our streets at 
unearthly hours in the morning, is heard no more. (Book of Days, 
p. 33). In 1849, the first passenger train to Winsted over the 
Naugatuck Kailroad went through on September 22. Our own 


Sliepaug Valley Kailroad was not opened until January 1, 1872. 
This was constructed largely as a result of the energetic public 
spirit of EdAvin McNeill. He had been a successful railroad builder 
elsewhere and returned to his former home in Litchfield in 1863. 
He first tried to have a road put through from Waterbury to the 
north, not far from the center, by the Boston and Erie Eailroad. 
He saw clearly that what Litchfield needed was a through road, 
which would connect it with various parts by a service of adequate 
speed. He was unsuccessful in this, and finally determined to get 
a branch road from Bethel and Hawleyville to Litchfield. The 
story of the construction of the road is an unfortunate one through- 
out. A great deal of money was suidi in the line, and the traffic, 
being purely local, has never resulted in any success of operation. 
It has been a great convenience to Litchfield and to all the towns 
along the line; but it has never developed the trade or the extensive 
passenger traffic which a through line would have done. To-day 
it is much shorter to go to many points of the state by motor, 
for instance to Hartford, than by train. Many men in Litchfield 
supported Mr. McNeill, with money and influence; all cannot be 
named, but J. Deming Perkins and Henry E. Coit should be men- 

As these changes gradually came about, it is interesting to con- 
sider Avhat new characteristics were developed. One of these is 
especially important, the growth of a historical spirit. Up to 1840, 
very little attention was paid to the historj' of the town. The 
only actual pamphlet on the subject was the often quoted Statistical 
Account of James Morris, and this, if we want to be very exact, was 
written in Soutli Farms. In Litchfield, the life was so busy and 
so much Avas being accomplished by the citizens, many of them away 
for considerable periods, that the retrospective, or shall we call it 
the contemplative, spirit had little opportunity. There were some 
diaries kept, of course, and the toAAOi records, but very little his- 
torical material Avas accumulated. Then Ave find an extensive and 
sudden outburst of the historical spirit. 

This AA^as led by George C. Woodruff and Payne Kenyon Kil- 
bourne, both of Avhoni appear to haA-^e begun their researches into 
the history of the toAvn about 1840. Kilbourne's early interest 
began through researches into the Revolutionary history; while 
Woodruff's AA^as at first largely concerned with local genealogy; but 
both soon extended their interest to cover the Avhole field of Litch- 
field history. 

George C. Woodruff Avas the son of Morris Woodruff and Can- 
dace Catlin, he Avas born December 1, 1805 and died November 21, 
18S5. Of him Charles B. AndrcAvs said: "Erect in figure, and 
singularly robust; ahvays of the firmest health; ahvays at AA^ork 
and never seemingly fatigued; nothing in nature so typified him 
as an oak Avhich has Avithstood eveiy vicissitude of storm for a 
century of time". (Address before the Litchfield Bar). He served 

Hon. George C. WoooRUFr 

I ■< 




lor several terms in the Legislature and represented this district 
in the 37th Congress in Washington. He did a great deal for the 
town through his constant public spirit; but he will be remembered 
perhaps chiefly on account of his extensive historical studies. 
Through these he affected everything that can at any future time 
be written about the toAvn. He was astonishingly accurate in his 
researches, and the statements he has made, even in a minor way 
do not have to be verified, as do nearly all historical statements, 
even those of Kilbourne. 

l*ayne Kenyon Kilbourne was ten years younger, having been 
born in 1815. From 1845 to 1853 he was editor of the Enquirer, 
and in 1859 he set up in type his own history. His historical inter- 
est was developed at an unusually early age. He had a very agree- 
able literary style, but he appears sometimes to have been hasty 
in his researches. The two men supplemented one another in an 
unusual degree, and between them covered the ground of Litch- 
field history, at least down to 1800, so thoroughly that little has 
been left for later investigation. Kilbourne liked the news value 
of his researches. He never misses an anecdote, and there are 
passages in his History which are not very relevant to Litchfield, 
but which make very good reading. He took his dates where he 
found them, without caring seriously if a minor slip did follow. 
George C. Woodruff, on the other hand, never passed a fact, which 
the best evidence obtainable did not corroborate. No trouble was 
too great if it led to increased accuracy. 

Woodruff's History dates from 1845. The same year he com 
piled his manuscript Genealogical Eegister of the Inhabitants of 
Litchfield, from 1720 to 1800. Twenty years later, he went over 
the whole ground again, to check up his results. 

It is hard for us, wiio have been brought to an interest in local 
history, to realize what the publication of Woodruff's book meant. 
It directed the thoughts of a large number of people to their own 
town, with a tide of results of which the present Bi-Centennial is only 
a minor phase. Before this time there had been no Centennials. 1820 
came and went \Aathout a word about the founding of the town. Yet 
within a year of 1845, fruits were already appearing, in the Marsh- 
Buel picnic. The families of tAvo of the leading founders of the Town, 
John Marsh and John Buel, were A^ery numerous. As to the Buels 
it is enough to quote from the tomb- stone in the West Cemetery, 
on the grave of Mrs. John Buel: "She died Nov. 4, 1768, aged 90; 
having had 13 children, 101 grand-children, 247 great-grand- children, 
and 49 great-great-grand children; total 410. 336 survived her". 

A story is told of the number and prominence of these two fami- 
lies in connection with the old grist-mill at the foot of East Hill. 
The miller used to call any stranger who same to the Mill, Mr. 
Marsh; if surprise was manifested he would correct himself and 
say Biiel, and seldom made a mistake. 


The reunion of the two families was held at the grove on the 
north east end of Bantam Lake, on September 3, 1846. A chart, 
showing the complete genealogies of the two families was prepared 
by George C. Woodruff, and a Historical address was read by Origen 
Storrs Seymour. The account of the day is given in the Litchfield 
Republican, September 10, 1846, while interesting reminiscences of 
it were given in the Enquirer for November 1, 1906, by the Eev. 
Storrs O. Seymour, D.D. A register of those present on the day was 
kept by Mr, Woodruff, which shows 581 names of descendants, and 
doubtless some others had to leave without being registered. 

Of the Buel family, Capt. Salmon Buel may be mentioned hei*e, 
as he lived to be over 100 years old. He celebrated his hundredth 
birthday on Sunday, June 9, 1867, by attending service at the Con- 
gregational Church, the large congregation rising as he entered, 
then uniting in singing the doxology to Old Hundred, after which 
was read the ninety-first Psalm. 

In 1845, was held also the Centennial of St. Michael's Church, 
a historical Sermon being preached by Rev. Isaac Jones. This was 
printed in pamphlet form, with considerable other historical 
material relating to the early years of the church. 

Payne Kenyon Kilbourne published his first historical work in 
1851, a volume of Litchfield Biographies. These are concerned with 
the whole County, and only in part with our town; but they show 
his pleasant style and foreshadow his great work, the History 
of 1859. 

In 1851, too, was held the County Centennial, which occu- 
pied two days, August 13 and 14. A volume of 212 pages 
was published after the celebration, which includes the speeches 
and a full account of the ceremonies. The most aiithoritative of 
the addresses was the Historical review of the century by Chief 
Justice Samuel Church, LL.D. He was a native of Salisbury, but 
became a resident of Litchfield in 1845 and remained here till his 
death in the autumn of 1854. His address was a valuable addition 
to the grooving historical material of the neighborhood, especially 
as to the legal lights of the County. 

Each of these events stimulated others; the next one being the 
Centennial of the North and South Consociations of the Congre- 
gational Church, which was held on July 7 and 8, 1852. Here again 
there was a historical address, delivered by the Rev. David L. 
Parmalee, pastor of Litchfield South Farms. 

Four years later, in 1856, the movement culminated in the forma- 
tion of the Litchfield County Historical and Antiquarian Society, 
which after a while became dormant and then in 1893 was revived 
and re-organized as our present Litchfield Historical Society. At 
the meeting of organization held in the Court House on April 9, 
1856, the Introductory Address was delivered by Gideon H. Hollister, 
who was then living in Litchfield and had just published his valuable 
History of Connecticut. The first board of officers included Seth 


P. Beers, President; George C. Woodruff, First Vice President; and 
Payne Kenyon Kilbourne, Secretary. 

Seth P. Beers was a native of Woodbury, where he was bom 
July 1, 1781. He was a graduate of the Law SchooL He held 
many public positions, including that of State's Attorney, and he 
served in four sessions of the State Legislature, of which he was 
consecutively Clerk and Speaker. His great service to the State, 
however, was as Commissioner of the School Fund, from 1824 to 
1849. The School Fund was made up from the sale of the Western 
Keserve lands in Ohio, which then belonged to the State of Con- 
necticut. Mr. Beers visited these lands, making the journey mainly 
by canal. He was a most successful administrator of these funds, 
which in his hands were increased from the original amount pro- 
duced by the sale of the lands in 1793-95 of $1,200,000. to $2,049,- 
482.32. He also increased the revenue of the fund from $72,000. to 
$133,000. in round numbers. 

"He was a self-made man and, mindful of his own early strug- 
gles, aided and encouraged many young men here and elsewhere to 
a successful career. Professor Henry A. Beers of Yale is his 
grandson". (Book of Days, p. 111). Mr. Beers had the interests 
of Litchfield always at heart, and at his death left a legacy to the 
Episcopal Churches of Litchfield, Bantam and Milton of $35,000. 

The publication of Kilbourne's History in 1859 marks the climax 
of this Historical period. It summarized all that had gone before, 
and gave final form to what then seemed the completed story of 
Litchfield. After the writing of this book, there was nothing left 
for others to do but to quote from it. The gathering clouds of 
Civil dissension also led men's thoughts away from new researches. 
A great amount has been published in the last sixty years about 
Litchfield, but it is surprising how much goes back direct to Kil- 
bourne. Since the formation of the new Historical Society in 
1893, however, a new direction has been given to local research, 
and the many able papers read before the Society from time to 
time have testified how fruitful the field still is. 

After 1859 and before the War, there was celebrated one more 
anniversary in Litchfield, the Semi-Centennial of the Litchfield 
County Foreign Mission Society, 1861. In the years between the 
end of the War and the formation of the Historical Society, the 
chief event of this character was the celebration, on July 4, 1876, of 
the Centennial of American Independence, on which occasion George 
C. Woodruff delivered an admirable review of the period, concerned 
chiefly with the share our town had taken in the Revolution. It 
was very appropriate that Mr. Woodruff should end, as he had 
begun, this first period of the historical study of the town. The 
second period includes all the work of the members of the Historical 
Society, and is still far from complete. It embraces also valuable 
work done by members of other organizations, notably the Mary 
Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, D. A. R., and the Litchfield Scientific 


Association, which in 1919 was merged with the Historical Society. 

In speaking of this period of Litchfield, the name of Origen 
Storrs Seymour is constantly in the mind. He did not take an 
active part in the historical movement, which we have chosen as 
the key-note of the time, beyond delivering the Historical address 
at the Marsh and Buel picnic of 1846, but his interest in such 
matters was always keen. He was born in Litchfield, February 
9, 1804, was graduated at the Law School, was Speaker of the House 
of Eepresentatives at Hartford, was a member of the 32nd and 33rd 
Congresses in Washington, and was Judge of the Superior Court 
of the State for eight years, beginning in 1855. In 1870, he was 
chosen Associate Judge of the Supreme Court of Errors, and in 
1873 he was chosen Chief Justice, which position he held till he 
reached the constitutional limit of age. After 1874, he served on 
many judicial and legislative Committees, the most important of 
which were the Commission to adjust the boundary line between 
this state and New York, and the Commission to simplify the 
methods of civil procedure in the state. The last public office which 
he held was a seat in the State Legislature, in 1881, the year of his 
death, being virtually unanimously elected thereto by his fellow 
townsmen. He died on August 12, 1881. He was married to 
Lucy M. Woodruff, daughter of Gen. Morris Woodruff, in 1830. 

Judge Seymour came to the bar at a time when it was strongly 
represented throughout the County. The lawyers here at that 
time were Phineas Miner, Seth P. Beers, Asa Bacon, Jabez W. 
Huntington, Truman Smith, and David C. Sanford. 

There remains a final aspect to be considered in our study of 
the changes which passed over Litchfield about the middle of the 
last century. This was the Mining craze. It seems to us to-day 
as though hardly any place could be found offering less opportunity 
for mining than Litchfield, and yet all sorts of undertakings were 
launched here. It looks almost as though, the legitimate means 
of commercial enterprise having in great part failed with the 
centralizing of the manufacturing establishments in the valleys, 
the methods of quackery were resorted to in the hope of drawing 
some commercial profits from the town. It is fortunate that 
most of these schemes were undertaken by outsiders. It was at 
any rate appropriate that one of these strange speculations should 
have been launched by the great American circus man, P. T. Bar- 
num. He purchased a farm in the Pitch about 1848, together 
with many mining rights, and began to dig for copper. Two shafts 
were sunk, besides $10,000., or so Barnum claimed, when the opera- 
tions failed, and the creditors took over the property. In 1902, 
Thomas A. Edison sent two mining experts to look at the site, but 
they were wiser than Barnum and did not recommend operations 

John T. Hubbard, who has made a full study of the various 
mines and mining ventures in Litchfield, in a lecture before the 
Litchfield Scientific Association, December 13, 1905, told of an 

Chief Justice Origen Storrs Seymour 

JuDGt Lkwis B. Woodruff 


earlier effort to obtain mineral in the Pitch. This was the New 
England Exploring and Mining Co. It had a capital stock of 
$100,000., bnt never achieved anything beyond running a tnnnel into 
the hillside south of the Pitch road. 

The belief in the value of Litchfield's mineral resources was 
hard to down. In Kilbourne's History, Ave find this hopeful spirit, 
characteristic of the period, well exjiressed, p. 249: "In other parts 
of the town miners have met with better success. About two miles 
north-east of the village, a shaft has been sunk 25 feet in depth, by 
Albert SedgAvick and John W. Buell. The vein or lode is 14 feet 
in width, composed of pure quartz, Avith a sligjit mixture of 
felspar. In this A^ein is found a A^ery pure grey Copper Ore, yield- 
ing by analysis 79i/2 per cent, of copper. A bevel has been driven 
140 feet, Avhich when completed, will intersect the vein at 50 feet 
in depth. In this A'ein are also found great quantities of small 
pure garnets, AA^hich are as yet too small to be made valuable as 
articles of commerce. This vein, bearing nearly a north and south 
direction, can be traced for a distance of three miles. Half a mile 
from this location, Avas recently found an old shaft, fifteen feet 
deep, Avhich is supposed to have been sunk long before the Rca^o- 
lution. This has been cleaned out, and sunk thirty feet upon a 
small A'ein of iron and copper running together. The quantity 
of copper found is not yet suflficient to render the digging profitable, 
the mine having been but partially developed, 

"The lands of the Connecticut Mining Co., on Prospect Moun- 
tain, promise an abundant return for funds invested and labor 
performed. Disinterested parties, who have visited these mines, 
and others who have analyzed and smelted their copper, nickel, and 
silver ores, pronounce the percentage of pure metal to be much 
greater than that of some of the celebrated English mines. The 
enterprise in this company deserves and Avill receiA^e a rich reward". 
Surely no prospectus could yield much better promise than this 
formal statement of Kilbourna Judge Hubbard adds, however, 
"As 10 per cent, is a paying ore, it is unfortunate that Mssrs. Sedg- 
wick and Buell did not mine more of their 79i/^ per cent. ore". 

Another venture of these two enterprising men carried them to 
the land now owned by the Connecticut Junior Republic, where 
they sank a shaft 45 feet deep in the woods west of the buildings. 
Nothing Avas found in the shaft beyond Iron pyrites. 

Various companies have been incorporated to do mining in 
the town, chiefly on Prospect, but it is not worth the space to say 
much about them. Yet one likes to linger on such possibilities 
as The American Mining Co., with a capital stock of $100,000., 
for its Litchfield mine, this company being located at Windsor, 
Vermont, in 1850. Then there was the Litchfield County Mining 
and Quarrying Co., incorporated by the state Legislature in 1860, 
with a modest capital of $300,000. 


In 1860 also the Connecticut Mining Co., obtained a very favor- 
able charter from the Legislature, They bought two mining rights 
on Prospect Mountain and issued $200,000 of stock, much of which 
was successfully placed in Philadelphia, This was the company 
of which Kilbourne thought so well. Later the stock was increased 
by another $200,000; buildings on the Mountain were constructed; 
and offices opened in the present brick building of Woodruff and 
Woodruff. In a prospectus, the promoters compared the mines to 
Aladdin and his Wonderful Lamp. But quarrels arose within the 
company, as the monies raised were apparently not all put into the 
mines. To-day nothing remains to show, but a rather deep mud- 

In 1864, the Nickel Mining and Smelting Co., was organized 
under the laws of the State of New York, with a capital of 
$600,000. They purchased the rights to mine on the west slope of 
Prospect Mountain, and evidently were concerned with actual min- 
ing rather than with the sale of stock. Some nickel was indeed 
taken out of the mountain, and it is said that it was sold to the 
Government and used to make the nickel cents which were in cir- 
culation before the nickel five-cent piece was placed in use. Event- 
ually, the venture shared the fate of the other Litchfield mines. 



The changes which we have traced in the development of Litch- 
field, were never more marked than in the contrast between the 
days of the Kevolution and those of the Civil War. In both wars 
Litchfield gave of her best; but the martyrdoms of the Prison Ship 
in the Revolution were only one side of the picture; there were 
also the romantic adventures of Col. Tallmadge, the signing of the 
Declaration of Independence by the elder Wolcott, the melting of 
the bullets, the capture of Ticonderoga by Litchfield-bom Ethan 
Allen, the stores in the village streets, the passing of troops on 
their dapple greys, and of long munition trains. It was a 

period of suspense and excitement, but the excitement was always 
stimulating. In the Civil War, there was little but the sus- 
pense, Litchfield was too far from the seat of war to be directly 
involved, and the young men, whom she sent in hundreds as they 
were called for, fought and died without the glory of any historic 
personal achievement. Their names are treasured as heroes on 
our monuments in the Center and in Northfield; but they do not 
appear in the histories. The service was all the greater because 
it was so inconspicuous, just a unit in the vast operations of 
<xeneral Grant. 

In the Revolution, Litchfield had sent 504 men into service, 
while in the Civil War our Honor Roll only includes 280 names, 
besides 44 men who enlisted and yielded to the temptation so uni- 
versal in this particular war and deserted. The difference in 
numbers is partly accounted for by the greater population of Litch- 
field in the Revolution, when our territory included an extra thous- 
and inhabitants in South Farms; it is also partly accounted for 
by the inclusion in the Civil War Roll only of the men who actually 
were residents of Litchfield when they enlisted, while the Revolu- 
tionary Roll includes also those who were connected with the Town 
before the War or afterwards. 

It is not possible to estimate how many Litchfield men died in 
the Revolution. We know that, out of 36 men taken prisoners at 
Port Washington, only six survived, but probably this was the 
only engagement where large losses followed. In the Civil War, 
approximately 77 men died in the service, from wounds, disease or 
other causes. Of these 52 names are on our monument, and the 
remaining 25 have been obtained from the Record of Connecticut 
Men in the War of the Rebellion, 1861-1865, published by the author- 
ity of the General Assembly, 1889. The proportion of deaths 


among the Litchfield men was therefore very high, and testifies to 
their gallant action. 

From the declaration of War, enlistments began from the 
Town; but it was not till after the close of General McClellan's 
disastrous Peninsula Campaign in 1S62, when President Lincoln 
issued his memorable call for 300,000 more men, that a concerte<l 
effort was made here or elsewhere to stimulate enlistment on a 
large scale. 

Appropriations to cover supplies for all volunteers and sup- 
port for their families, when needed, were made by the Town from 
the earliest dates of the War. The first appropriation made was 
of $5,000. on May 2, 1861. This was to be expended according to 
the judgment of a Committee consisting of Jason Whiting, William 
F. Baldwin and Philip S. Beebe. On November 23, 1801, a Town 
Meeting Avas held to instruct this Committee more in detail, and 
it Avas voted to give each volunteer a bonus of $7. at the time of his 
being mustered in. On January 20, 1862, it was voted to continue 
payments for the support of soldiers' families, subject to a refund 
from the State. 

Then, on July 3, 1862, came the Proclamation of Governor 
Buckingham, urging the State of Connecticut to raise a minimum 
of seven new Keginients. The response of Litchfield County was an 
entire Kegiment, of w^hich we shall speak at length presently. 

Another result of the Proclamation was the immediate increase, 
at a Town Meeting on July 25, 1862, in the Bounty for each volun- 
teer from $7. to $100. The payment of these bounties upon enlist- 
ment caused some men to volunteer for no purpose beyond obtain- 
ing the bounty, and was one of the causes, though only one, of the 
many desertions throughout the army, of which it has already been 
seen that Litchfield was also a victim. 

Besides the call for 300,000 men for three years or the dura- 
tion of the War, President Lincoln now made another call for 
300,000 men for nine months' serA'ice. To meet this call, the Litch- 
field bounty was increased at a Tow^n Meeting on September 8, 1862, 
to $200. for each volunteer, previous volunteers receiving the differ- 
ence between this sum and their former bounties. 

On March 3, 1863, Congress passed the Conscription Law% assign- 
ing to Litchfield a quota of 40 men. At a Town Meeting, July 25, 
1863, it was voted to appropriate and borrow the sum of $12,000., 
and to pay $300. towards each man who volunteered or was drafted 
to fill this quota of 40 men. This was America's first experience 
with the draft law, and it was not popular. "Great, strapping 
men, who before the Avar had always boasted of their bodily puis- 
sance, and who were never suspected, before or since, of having any 
other disease than a rush of pusillanimity to the heart, came 
limping and hobbling into town, and Avith touching earnestness 
inquired for the office of Dr. BeckAvith, who Avas dealing out cer- 
tificates of exemption from military duty to the mob that day and 


night besieged his doors". (Vaill, Nineteenth Connecticut Volun- 
teers, p. 15). The provision that substitutes could be provided 
by drafted men, under certain restrictions, does not require detailed 
explanation here. 

Another quota of 60 men was called for from the town, as a 
part of President Lincoln's call in January 1864 for 500,000 men; 
and again in November 40 men were called for. These appear to 
have been the last men raised by the draft in Litchfield, though 
volunteers were at all times encouraged, though not as generously 
as before, owing probably to the fact that the draft machinery 
greatly facilitated obtaining the necessary men. The payments 
voted at different times to different groups of men were as follows: 
Jan. 18, 1864: $50.; Feb. IS, 1864: $80.; March 28, 1864: $100.; 
Aug. 1, 1864: $500.; and Nov. 22, 1864: $150. At the close of the 
War, the injustice of such varied bounties was recognized, and 
on July 8, 1864, it Avas voted to pay to each Litchfield soldier or his 
family, excepting of course the deserters, a further sum wherever 
necessary to bring the bounties received up to a minimum of $200. 
This vote, however, was repealed at a special Town Meeting called 
for the purpose on August 5, 1865 and we do not find that any 
further effort was made to equalize the bounties. The total cost 
of all the payments was upwards of $50,000.00; some part of which 
was repaid by the Government, under the Conscription Law. The 
net cost to the Town, of the payments and bounties, was in the 
neighborhood of $31,000.00. 

We are fortunate in having two histories of the Litchfield 
County Regiment. One was written soon after the War by 

Theodore F. Vaill, who was Adjutant of the Regiment, and pub- 
lished by him in 1868: History of the Second Connecticut Volun- 
teer Heavy Artillery; Originally the Nineteenth Connecticut Volun- 
teers. It is a volume of 366 pages, and is considered one of the 
most accurate of the regimental histories of the war. It is now 
out of print and exceedingly rare; we have heard of only three 
copies being preserved in the town of Litchfield. It was therefore 
appropriate for the Litchfield County University Club to bring out 
a new history by Dudley Landon Vaill, a son of Adjutant Vaill, 
entitled The County Regiment, 1908. This has liberal quotations 
fi-om the earlier book, and puts the material into modern form. 
We quote the following account of the formation of the Regiment 
fi-om the volume of Adjutant Vaill, pp. 9-16: 

"On the 22nd of July, 1862, the people of 'Mountain County' gave 
authoritative expression of their spirit and purpose in a County 
Convention at Litchfield, at which resolutions were unanimous y 
passed declaring that an entire regiment should be raised within the 
county, and urging the several towns to offer a bounty of $100. to 
each volunteer. The Convention also unanimously recommended Lev- 
erett W. Wessells for the Colonelcy, and requested the Governor to 
rendezvous the new regiment at Litchfield. The project of raising 


the Nineteenth, thus fairly set on foot, was pushed forward with the 
utmost vigor. The offer of a commission to anyone who should enlist 
forty men proved a great incentive to effort, and every young man 
who contemplated enlisting was straightway beset with a persistent 
horde of rival drummers, each armed with a persuasive tongue and 
a marvelous list of inducements. Nine companies were soon filled 
to the maximum, and some of them had several to spare. Colonel 
Wessells received his commission on July 25, and on August 13 
issued a circular directing all officers recruiting for the Nineteenth 
Connecticut Volunteers to bring their squads into camp at Litch- 
field on August 19 or as soon thereafter as practicable. 

"On the appointed day the Litchfield Company assembled at the 
Town Hall. The men who composed it arranged themselves in two 
rows, each man standing so very erect that his spine described an 
inward curve painful both to himself and the spectator; and having 
by much tuition been able to master the evolution known as 'right 
face', the procession proudly moved with Captain Bissell at its head, 
to Camp Button, on Chestnut Hill, so named in honor of Lieutenant 
Henry M. Button, of the Fifth Connecticut Volunteers, who had 
fallen at Cedar Mountain only ten days before. Upon arriving, they 
found a supply of bell-shaped tents awaiting them, which were soon 
pitched in regular order, under the supervision of Luman Wadhams, 
who had seen service in the Eighth; and before night the dwellers 
in the surrounding country, and far away on the hills, were turning 
their eyes towards the snow-white canvas that marked the first and 
only military encampment that had been seen within their borders 
since ancient times. . . . 

"On August 21, seven Companies with nearly seven hundred imen 
marched into Litchfield, and after halting for refreshments at the 
Town Hall, where the ever patriotic ladies had lavishly provided 
for their entertainment, proceeded to camp . . . Company I arrived 
on the 24th of August; and a few days later the commandants of 
the nine Companies were each required to furnish a quota for the 
formation of a tenth Company, (K), which was thus made up of 
recruits from 25 different towns. And so the Nineteenth was 
encamped. In order to raise it Litchfield County had given up 
the flower of her youth, the pride and hope of hundreds of her 
families ; and they had by no means enlisted to fight for a superior 
class of men at home. There was no superior class at home. In 
moral qualities, in social worth, in every civil relation, they were 
the best that Connecticut had to give. More than ^//y of the rank 
and file of the regiment subsequently found their way to commissions, 
and at least a hundred more proved themselves not one whit less 
competent or worthy to wear sash and saber if it had been their 
fortune. It was the intelligent obedience, the soldierly bearing, the 
self respect, the faithfulness, the wounds and blood of the enlisted 
men of the Nineteenth Infantry, afterwards the Second Artillery, 
that averted defeat or secured victory for the cause of the Union 





upon more than one desperate field, and that purchased stars for 
more than one pair of shoulders. 

"Camp Button was a beautiful spot, but no place for a regiment 
to learn its hard and ugly trade. Fond mothers and aunts raked 
the position with a galling and incessant fire of doughnuts, apples, 
butter, pies, cheese, honey, and other dainties not conducive to the 
suppression of the rebellion, and citizens thronged the streets and 
environs from morning till night. Lieutenant Colonel Kellogg was 
impatient at this state of things, and well he might be. The actual 
command had devolved on him from the first. Colonel Wessells being 
occupied with matters appertaining to the organization and outfit of 
the regiment, and he feared lest he should be called into fight with 
the men all innocent and raw as they were, for Lee was in Mar)'- 
land, and the rumbling of the storm that shortly afterward burst at 
Antietam and Sharpsburg could plainly be heard. . . . 

"On the 10th of September tJie regiment marched to the village 
to receive an elegant stand of colors from Mrs. William Curtis 
Noyes and to listen to a presentation address by her husband, then 
in the zenith of his power and fame. On the 11th, the regiment 
was mustered, by Lieutenant Watson Webb, into the service of the 
United States and on the 15th, having formed in line, and given 
three parting cheers for Camp Button, the long and firmly treading 
battalion, consisting of 889 oft'icers and men, moved to Litchfield Sta- 
tion where a train of 23 cars stood ready to take them to New 
York. The deep interest everywhere felt in the Mountain County 
Eegiment was attested by crowds of people at the stations and all 
along the railway and by white handkerchiefs and white hands that 
waived us a farewell and a blessing from window and verandah 
and hilltop. ..." 

Leverett W. Wessells, the first Colonel of the Nineteenth, was 
born in Litchfield, July 28, 1819. He enlisted on July 25, 1862, and 
was commissioned Colonel on the same day. He held the following 
offices: Colonel commanding Second Brigade, Befense of Washing- 
ton, South of the Potomac, and was honorably discharged September 
15, 1863, at Washington, B. C, resigning by reason of ill-health. He 
was appointed Provost Marshall of the Fourth Bistrict of Con- 
necticut, February 9, 1864, and was finally discharged October 5, 
1865, by reason of the ending of the War. He died April 4, 1895, at 
Dover, Bel. His brother. General Henry W. Wessells, was also a 
distinguished soldier, having served in the Mexican War, with the 
rank of Major. In the Civil War, he Avas Major of the Sixth Con- 
necticut Infantrj^, 1861; Colonel, Eighth Eegiment Kansas Volun- 
teers, 1861; Brigadier General of Volunteers, 1862; and Brigadier 
General, TJ. S. A., March 13, 1865; he retired from the military ser- 
vice on January 1, 1871. 

It is not within the scope of this work to follow the Nineteenth 
Regiment completely through its campaigns in active service; but 
mention should at least be made of the names of the actions in which 


it took so gallant a part, and the storj- of Cold Harbor must be 
told more in full. 

"For more than a year and a half the regiment was numbered 
among the defenders of the Capital, removing after a few months 
from the immediate neighborhood of Alexandria and being stationed 
among the different forts and redoubts which formed the line of 
defence south of the Potomac. ... It was in November 1863, that the 
War Department orders were issued changing the Nineteenth 
Infantry to a regiment of heavy artillery, which Governor Bucking- 
ham denominated the Second Connecticut. Artillery drill had for 
some time been part of its work, and the general efficiency and good 
record of the regiment in all particulars was responsible for the 
change, which was a welcome one, as the Artillery was considered a 
very desirable branch of the service, and the increase in size gave 
prospects of speedier promotion". (Dudley Vaill, pp. 19, 21). 

On May 17, 1864, the summons came, which the Second Heavy 
Artillery had almost ceased to expect, after its long period of 

"The preceding two weeks had been among the most eventful 
of the war. They had seen the crossing of the Eapidan by Grant 
on the 4th, and the terrible battles for days following in the Wilder- 
ness and at Spottsylvania, depleting the army by such enormous 
losses as even this war had hardly seen before. Heavy reinforce- 
ments were demanded and sent forward from all branches of the 
service; in the emergency this artillery regiment was summoned to 
fight as infantrj', and so served until the end of the conflict, though 
for a long time with a hope, Avhich survived many disappointments, 
of being assigned to its proper work with the heavy guns". (Dudley 
Vaill, p. 25). 

When the regiment reached the front, Grant was in full march 
towards Eichmond, and for a week the regiment was put through 
a series of forced marches v/liich tried the oldest A^eterans Avho were 
in the same corps and which to the inexperienced Second Artillery 
was almost beyond endurance. At first they were overburdened 
with their baggage, but they soon threw down by the roadside every- 
thing that could be spared and much that should not have been 
spared. Over $20,000. worth of the private property of the men was 
thrown aside, besides great quantities of government rations. With- 
out proper food, foot-sore, and without sleep, the regiment struggled 
on, sometimes getting its only nourishment from the dry corn picked 
up by the wa}'^ and eaten raw. 

The first contact with the enemy came at a skirmish at Jericho 
Pord, on the North xVnna River, on May 24, resulting in the death 
of one man and the wounding of three others. 

On May 31, the regiment reached Cold Harbor. Exhausted with 
fatigue, they slept on the ground where they stopped, careless of the 
evident preparations for battle which General Grant was obviously 
making, by the concentration of great bodies of men. Their stupor 


was such, that even when they were told of the expected engagement 
by their commander, Colonel Kellogg of New Hartford, they were 
unable to understand his meaning. It was happy for them, per- 
haps, that this was the case, for had they known what was in store 
for them on the morrow even their short rest must have been denied 

At five o'clock in the afternoon of June 1, 1864, the untried 
Second Connecticut Heavy Artillery, moving in three battalions of 
four companies each, was marched out of the breast-works to help 
in dislodging the enemy from their entrenched positions at Cold 
Harbor. The first battalion, including Company A, the Litchfield 
company, was sent across an open field, with the colors in the 
<;entre, and easily passed the first line of rifle pits, which was 
abandoned at its approach. The confederate soldiers had made a 
barrier of pines and saplings in front of their main line of breast- 
works, which proved practically impassable. As the battalion came 
up to it, unsupported on either side, the enemy's musketry openetl. 
The fire passed overhead, and they fell to the ground to avoid further 
volleys. "Several men were struck, but not a large number. It 
is more than probable that if there had been no other than this front 
fire, the rebel breastworks would have been ours, notwithstanding 
the pine boughs. But at that moment a long line of rebels on our 
left, having nothing in their own front to engage their attention, 
and having unobstructed range on the battalion, opened a fire which 
no human valor could withstand, and which no pen can adequately 
describe. It Avas the work of almost a single minute. The air 
was filled with sulphurous smoke, and the shrieks and howls of more 
than two hundred and fifty mangled men rose above the yells of 
triumphant rebels and the roar of their musketry. 'About face', 
sliouted Colonel Kellogg, but it was his last command. He had 
already been struck in the arm, and the w^ords had scarcely passed 
his lips when another shot pierced his head, and he fell dead upon 
the interlacing pine boughs. Wild and blind with wounds, bruises, 
noise, smoke, and conflicting orders, the men staggered in every 
direction, some of them falling upon the very top of the rebel para- 
pet, where they Avere completely riddled with bullets, others wander- 
ing oft' into the Avoods on the right and front, to find their way to 
death by starvation at Andersonville, or never to be heard of again". 
(Theodore Vaill, p. 63). 

The second battalion, behind them, could give no support, for 
fear of shooting right into their OAvn men. There was however no 
suggestion of retreat at any point, and, indeed, in a lull in the 
firing, several hundred of the enemy came across the parapets and 
surrendered. Through a misunderstanding, the credit of their cap- 
ture Avas given to other units. 

As the hours passed through the terrible night, the regiment 
held the ground that had been gained. The enemy under cover of 
the darkness vacated their breast\A^orks, and A\'hen at three o'clock 


in tlie morning other troops were sent to relieve the Second Regi- 
ment, the troops which in ten hours had been converted into veterans 
turned over to them the position which was to remain the front 
during the rest of the stay until Grant's sudden movement began 
against Petersburg. 

For twelve days, the regiment was more or less in constant 
action, but the fighting was so much less severe than on the fateful 
First of June, that it need hardly be mentioned. Indeed that first 
engagement was the most serious that the regiment saw at any 
time of the war. Its loss in that one night was greater than that 
of any other Connecticut regiment in any single battle, "The 
record of Cold Harbor, of which all but a very small proportion was 
incurred on June 1st, is given as follows: Killed or died of wounds, 
121; wounded, 190; missing, 15; prisoners, 3". (Dudley Vaill, p. 37). 
This total of 329 casualties, in a regiment of 1,800 men, fell with 
special force on the Litchfield company. Of 33 men who were 
killed or digd from wounds during the whole service of this company, 
29 fell at Cold Harbor, all but two on the night of June 1st. The 
Litchfield men among these 29 were the following: Corporal Albert 
A. Jones ; Lyman J. Smith, Jr. ; Eobert Watt ; John Iffland ; Willard 
H. Pannalee; Almon B. Bradley; Patrick Eyan; Captain Luman 
Wadhams (died of Avounds) ; CorporaH George Wilson Potter; 
Corporal Charles Adams, Jr.; Corporal Apollos C. Morse; Andrew 
J. Brooker; Amos H. Stillson. 

Other Litchfield men killed the same night, in other companies^ 
were Michael Bray; John Handel. 

On June 12, 1864, the regiment moved to Petersburg, where it 
remained until July 9th. For the next two months or more it 
took part in the maneuvers under General Sheridan of the Shenan- 
doah Valley campaign, having its severest battle at Winchester on 
September 19, where its efficient work at a moment of crisis turned 
an impending defeat into an important victory. Three days later,^ 
the raiment was sent against the fort on Fisher's Hill, considered 
the Gibraltar of the Valley, which they scaled and captured, with 
a loss of only four men killed. The enemy were taken completely 
by surprise and driven it was thought for all time out of the 

The confederate General, Early, took advantage of the with- 
drawal of Sheridan's forces, to re-occupy Fisher's Hill, and the 
Second Connecticut found itself ordered back to Cedar Creek, where 
it arrived on October 14th. Five days later, the dramatic battle, 
which bears this name, was fought, and again the Second Connecti- 
cut had a proud and successful part in it. After an apparent 
defeat of the Union forces, which at one moment threatened to 
become an irretrievable rout, the tide of the battle turned, and 
ended in a complete victory which marked the successful conclusion 
of the Shenandoah Valley Campaign. 


At Cedar Creek as at Winchester, the regiment had large losses, 
but for the Litchfield men they were proportionately much smaller 
than in the fateful battle of Cold Harbor. Corporal Franklin M. 
Bunnell was wounded at Winchester early in the day, but continued 
to fight with his company until just before the close of the battle. 
He died six days later at Jarvis Hospital, Baltimore, Corporal 
John L. Wilcox was shot at the battle of Cedar Creek in the side 
and back. The shot was not found until the third day: when it 
was removed a hemorrhage developed and he died on the way 
from the Valley to Baltimore, October 28. These were the only 
two men from Litchfield in the Litchfield Company who were killed 
after the battle of Cold Harbor. 

For two months after Cedar Creek, the regiment saw no more 
fighting. It w^as again joined to Grant's army, and on February 
5 and 6, 1865, was engaged in the action at Hatcher's Eun. Then 
came another period of inaction, and then the final engagement, 
which began with the attack on Fort Stedman, March 25, and ended 
with the capture of Petersburg on April 3, 1865. The Second Con- 
necticut afterwards claimed to have been the first regiment to enter 
the city, but they did not carry their colors when they marched 
against it, and those of another unit were raised above the city. 
The same day, the regiment started in pursuit of Lee's army, and 
had reached a point close to Appomattox Court House, when the news 
reached them of the surrender there on April 9, of all that was left 
of Lee's forces to General Grant. 

The terrible news of Cold Harbor fell upon the families and 
friends of the Litchfield men like a thunderbolt. For months the 
letters that came from the South had told only of inaction. Then 
suddenly came the ncAvs that the regiment was on the march, and 
within two weeks the rumor of a great battle was received. It 
was impossible to get names or correct particulars. The chief link 
with official bureaus was through John H. Hubbard, who was then 
Congressman in Washington. He was an ardent administration 
man, and Lincoln used to call him Old Connecticut; but even Wash- 
ington could give no sure information, when many of the wounded 
were still lying outside the lines. Long afterwards, Mrs. Hubbard 
wrote, (Book of Days, p. 87) : "You can have no idea of the intense 
anxiety in the days following Cold Harbor. It was the same after 
every great battle in which Litchfield troops were engaged. The 
telegraph wires had more news than they could carry. It was 
impossible to get details. All we knew was, that a terrible battle 
had been fought and that a great number were either dead or 
wounded. As Mr. Hubbard was Congressman, our house was a 
rendezvous for people hoping or fearing for news. They would 
often stay till late at night. I particularly remember one woman 
from Goshen who waited till eleven o'clock, and then went home, 
cheered with the thought that no news was good news. She had 


just gone home, when we received word that her husband was among 
the slain". 

And George Kenney wrote, (Book of Days, p, 88) : "Such 
funerals as we had in those days! I had the stage line then and, 
when the war was over, I brought up from the ISTaugatuck station 
all that were left from a company that went from this town. I 
carried them all up in one stage drawn by four horses". 

The heaviest toll, proportionately, was taken of the families 
who lived in the district west of the center. Here within a small 
radius Avere six farm-houses to Avhich one or more of the men who 
had gone to the war were brought back dead. Three sons of the 
Wadhanis family, who lived in the house west of the road across 
Harris Plain, were killed in the space of fourteen days. On May 
28, 1864, the Second Connecticut happened to be near the Fourteenth 
Connecticut. Captain Luman Wadhams went to headquarters, 
requesting permission to go and see his brother in the latter regi- 
ment. It was given. When he returned, the Colonel asked him 
if he had found him. "I found lie was killed day before yester- 
day", was the sad reply. Four days after. Captain Luman Wad- 
hams was killed, and both of them died without knowing that their 
younger brother, Edward, a Sergeant in the Eighth Connecticut, had 
been killed at Fort Darling on May 16. 

So in Litchfield, when Deacon Adams had been over to break 
the news of the death of one of the brothers, he was on his way back 
to the village when he was told that another had fallen. 

When the widow of Captain Luman Wadhams learned of her 
loss, the desire came to her to go herself to the South and help in 
nursing those who were still fated to go through the experience of 
her husband, those who were to linger from their wounds for a few 
days, and perhaps die when some little care beyond what the doctors 
had to give would have saved them. The number of nurses was 
very restricted, totally inadequate according to the standards of the 
present; and it is another source of pride for Litchfield to know 
that one of its women went and did such good work for the soldiers. 
She joined Sheridan's army at Winchester, where her husband's 
regiment had fought in August and where one of the larger field 
hospitals was situated. One of the letters which she wrote soon 
after her arrival is preserved, and is worth quoting to show the 
conditions of the day: 

"October 31, 1864, To the Rev. George Eichards. Dear Friend: 
As you were the means of obtaining for me a place here I thought 
I would tell you how I am passing my time in my new home, that 
is if a tent can be called a home, and that it can I am sure many 
will testify. I reached this place the day after Sheridan's last 
battle, the 19th. I found the place in a state of great commotion: 
many had, on the news of a repulse, packed up their goods, some 
had left, some were running distracted, not knowing what to do 
or where to go : but it is of the wounded I must tell you. I reported 


immediately on arriving to the Medical Director, who informed me 
I had arrived just in time, as they were expecting fifteen hundred 
wounded in a short time. I was sent to the Nineteenth Corps Hos- 
pital for a few days, as I was needed more there at that time. I 
must tell you of my initiation. I had not slept since leaving Wash- 
ington, but you may well guess sleep was far from my thoughts. 
The doctor told me to prepare myself with a basin, towel, etc., and 
left me with another lady to await the coming of the ambulance 
train. Now I think it would be impossible to describe my feelings, 
while sitting there waiting. I had thought it over many times at 
home before leaving, how I should bear the sight of those poor, 
wounded, dying men, and I knew my after efforts depended a great 
deal on it. The train came, they brought them in on stretchers, 
and placed them on straw beds on the floor of the church, as thick 
nearly as they could lie. And I, I went to work, washing first, 
feeding next, then the surgeon asked me 'could I dress wounds?' I 
told him I would try, and I did. And not until near morning did 
I leave those poor, wounded, dying men. I never stopped to ask 
myself how I was bearing it, never thought to cry, never felt like 
it, I only felt these men were suffering and I must help them, and 
I, if I were to go home to-morrow, I should thank God that I had 
come, if only for that one night. I had, as you will remember, 
taken a few lessons in bandaging at Columbia College Hospital at 
Washington before coming. I found that of great service to me. 
There was not an arm, head, leg, or any wound even, I shrank from, 
however bad it was. There was one poor boy, that had his right 
eye entirely shot away, and his left was so filled with blood, dirt 
and powder he thought that was gone too, as he told me: 'I am 
blind, Lady, blind for my flag'. But by frequent bathing in cold 
water he can see a very little. I hope to be able to restore that 
eye entirely. His nose is nearly half gone. Another has his left 
lung laid entirely bare, you can look in and see the beating and 
working of that delicate machinery, but there he lies, uumurmur- 
ingly, patiently awaiting his death. Of course many have lost legs, 
arms, and some both, some seem almost literally riddled with shot. 
I asked one dear boy, covered with wounds, where he Avas wounded. 
He replied: 'All over, Lady', and sure it seemed so; he was hit with 
a piece of shell in his head, a horrible gash, then a ball had entered 
his left side, passed entirely through his body and had fractured 
his right arm. He is now doing well. I might tell of many such 
cases, but you will not care to be wearied. Others, apparently 
slightly wounded, have since died, many more must. They are 
sending them as fast as possible to Martensburg, and then on to 
Baltimore. We are crowded here, but I think it would have been 
better to have kept them a few days, for the poor boys were so near 
gone that forty died on the way to Martensburg, and twenty in the 
cars before reaching Harpers' Ferry. They were brought from 
Newtown, a distance of eight miles from here and six from Cedar 


Creek, and we fed them here without taking them from the ambu- 
lances, and they sent them on to Martensburg, making in all 23 miles 
without resting. We have better accommodations here than at first ; 
I am now at the Sheridan Hospital. It is half mile out from 
Winchester on a rise of ground and seems doing finely, many must 
die. They have all done for them possible, ..." 

The men of the western part of town were known as the Flower 
of Litchfield, and it was appropriate that one of them should have 
given his name to the local Post of the Grand Army of the Eepublic. 
This was Seth F. Plumb. He was killed at Fort Harrison, Va., on 
September 29, 1864. He was a member of the Eighth Connecticut, 
in the same Company E in which Edward Wadbams was the Cap- 
tain. He was a deeply religious man; and was participating with 
other members of the regiment in a service of prayer, when the 
orders came to charge across an open field upon Fort Harrison. The 
Fort was captured, but he was killed in the attack. He always 
considered his soldier life as a religioas duty for his country. He 
was buried at Bermuda Hundred, between the bodies of two young 
comrades who like himself had just been promoted for personal 
bravery. At the request of his father, his body was later brought 
to Litchfield by his friend Joseph H. Vaill, and lies buried in our 
West Cemetery. 

The Seth F. Plumb Post, No. 80, Department of Connecticut, 
was formed in 1884. Its records were kept by Dwight C. Kilbourn, 
who was First Lieutenant of Company C in the Second Connecticut. 
He was wounded in both arms at the battle of Winchester, Septem- 
ber 19, 1864, but was able to rejoin his regiment in three months. 
He died at his home in East Litchfield, in 1914, at the age of 77 
years. Mr. Kilbourn was by nature a historian; he had the his- 
torical sense, as will be testified by all who have read his admirable 
Bench and Bar. He wrote many minor works and articles; but 
it is not generally known that he also wrote a history of the town. 
This had just been completed at the time of the fire of 1886, in which 
his law office was burned, together with his large library and the 
manuscript of his great work. He afterwards gathered together 
a new and valuable library, but he did not re-write the history. 

The war records of the individual men, whose names are kept 
in proud remembrance on our Honor Eoll, cannot be given in detail 
here. It was honorable service, performed with ready willingness. 
There was little of romance or of the unusual, little that varied 
from the hard routine of the soldier's life. We do however read 
of one case of a Litchfield boy, Lyman E. Sweet, who captured three 
prisoners of the enemy "with a coffee-pot" at the second battle of 
Hatcher's Eun, but even here we are deprived of the details of this 
marvelous exploit! 

For Litchfield the real end of the War was on August 1st, 1865, 
on which day the soldiers of the Second Eegiment and others 


returned from camp. About three hundred of the County Kegi- 
ment were present. The Triumphal Arch stood on East Street, 
near the side of the present Library, making a gateway to Litchfield 
as the men arrived from the East Litchfield Station. There was a 
parade, and speeches. The whole town was decorated to welcome 
the men. 

Two monuments have been erected in the Town to the memory 
of the men who fell in the Civil War. The one in Northfield is of 
red sandstone, and was erected by the citizens of that village directly 
after the end of the Avar, and is said to have been the first of the 
Soldiers' Monuments to be completed in the country. The one in 
Litchfield stands in the Center Park. It is of white marble, and 
bears the names of 52 soldiers, including the 8 names which are on 
the Northfield Monument. 



My boyhood was spent in Litchfield until I went to college in 
1877. After an absence of many years, with but occasional visits, 
I returned about 1911 as a householder and a member of the sum- 
mer colony. I am therefore in the unusual position of being able 
to describe the Litchfield of the early 70's as seen through a boy's 
eyes, and to note the changes that have occurred in our town between 
1870 and 1920, without having my impressions dinmied by too great 
a familiarity with the intervening years. Changes, which have 
come so gradually as to be almost unnoticed by the permanent resi- 
dents of Litchfield, present their cumulative effect to the returned 
absentee with a startling reality. Though these changes may be 
relatively small, who can tell but that the flight of fifty years may 
one day be seen to have had its importance in the great historical 
picture of our American civilization? Part of my notes on this 
head have already been used hj me in a lecture before the Litch- 
field Historical Society on "Changing Litchfield", delivered on 
September 1, 1914, and reported in the Enquirer of the following 

Litchfield in the early 70's was a pretty good place for a boy 
to grow up in. Here lived an unusually large number of persons, 
of all ages and degrees, whom it was stimulating to know. Among 
those who impressed themselves early on my boyish memory, were 
George C. Woodruff and his wife, the latter known to her numerous 
band of relatives and to very many others as "Aunt Sophy". Greorge 
C, as he was usually called, (the family name Avent without saying), 
was a lawyer and a gentleman of the old school: the perfect incar- 
nation of stern Puritan justice and uprightness, a terror to evil- 
doers, forbidding sometimes even to the Just, but full of humor and 
kindliness under his shell. I stood in awe of the stern exterior and 
I was half terrified and half scandalized when my mother, who had 
known him as a good friend, many years before I was born, used 
to venture upon persiflage in conversation with him. I well recol- 
lect a controversy on the subject of Contentment, which was renewed 
between them at each casual meeting. Stopping her in the street, 
Mr. Woodruff would fix her with his eye and quote with a sternness 
that almost withered me where I stood: "Contentment with Godli- 
ness is great gain". To which my mother rejoined: "Yes, and 
'to die is gain'; and so Contentment is only a living death!" All 


of wliich gave, and still gives, me food for tlioiight. I have always 
thought that her husband's mask of sternness worried Aunt Sophy 
a little. She knew him as he was, and she would fain have had 
others do likewise, — especially hojs of ten. 

Another of the Litchfield great ones of this era w^as Origen S. 
Seymour, afterwards Chief Justice of the State Supreme Court. 
Judge Seymour's eyesight had been weak from boyhood and the 
completion of his college course was dependent on the services of a 
companion to read his lessons to him. In later life, on the Bench 
or elsewhere, he always sat with closed eyes when listening intently. 
This sometimes gave rise to misunderstanding, as when a newly 
inducted rector of St. Michael's remarked, after his first sermon, 
that Judge Seymour seemed to have enjoyed it, as he was sound 
asleep all the time! As a matter of fact the Judge could probably 
have reproduced that sermon, if required, with a good deal more 
fidelity than it deserved. Judge Seymour was kind to boys, and 
I remember several conversations with him in his study at the South 
Street house. He told me once how he went to Ncav Haven on 
horseback, to pass his Yale entrance examination. He and a com- 
panion had but one horse between them, and used the method of 
''ride and tie", by which one rode ahead for a specified distance and 
the other followed on foot; having covered the distance agreed 
upon, the first tied the horse to a tree and himself proceeded to 
walk; when the second reached the horse he mounted, overtook his 
companion, rode ahead of him, tied the horse in turn, and so matters 
went until the end of the journey. It was effective and economical, 
but somewhat unsociable, it always seemed to me. 

When retired for age. Judge Seymour was Chief Justice of the 
State Supreme Court of Errors. We have had two Litchfield Chief 
Justices in my day, the other being Governor Charles B. Andrews, 
our only Governor since the days of the Wolcotts. 

Edwin McNeill was the first approach to anything like a 
financial magnate that our little town had ever known. A farmer's 
boy, of that dour but extremely competent Scotch strain that has 
left its impress all over our land, he became an eminent civil 
engineer, amassed what was then a fortune, and failing in health 
returned to live on Litchfield Hill. He bought from Gideon H. 
HoUister the house on North Street now owned by Frederick Dom- 
ing and proceeded to remodel it on a scale of luxury then unheard 
of, including a billiard-room, a hot-air furnace, and running water. 
He was a force in Litchfield while he lived, and his infiuence upon 
it persists to this day. Almost alone he pushed through the direct 
railway connection with New York against great difficulties. 

I do not recollect anyone who ever occupied precisely the same 
relation to a tOAvn as that held during my boyhood and for many 
years afterward by J. Deming Perkins. Wealthy patrons are not 
unknown to New England towns, but Mr. Perkins' services to 
Litchfield were not precisely of this type. He was continually 
giving, in no spectacular way, things that he knew by observation 


were needed by the village and unlikely to be acquired by it through 
public channels. This was the more welcome at that time because 
the old village organization had fallen into abeyance and had not 
been revived in its present borough form. There was no way in 
which Litchfield could raise money by taxation, except as a town- 
ship; and the residents of Bantam, Milton and ISTorthfield were not 
at all likely to contribute to the betterment of Litchfield village. 
So, when Litchfield streets were dark, and lanterns on the elms did 
not seem to fill the bill, Mr. Perkins ordered lamp-posts from New 
York, set them up on the conspicuous corners around the Green 
and paid a man to fill and light the lamps until the Village Improve- 
ment Society took the job from his hands. He became the Presi- 
dent of the V. I. S., and was its good genius and constant adviser. 
I well remember how proudly he used to tell us that the color of 
the new lamp-posts, white with green trimmings, was precisely that 
of the posts on Fourth Avenue in New York, the first metropolitan 
thoroughfare that the countryman used to see when he issued in 
wonderment from the portals of the old New Haven station at 
27th Street, where the Madison Square Garden now stands. 

When a badly frayed banner ceased to disgrace our hundred- 
foot mast on the Green and w^as replaced by a bright new one, we 
did not need to ask who had bought and paid for it. And it was 
under his auspices that the V. I. S. raised the money to build tar 
pavements over the town, setting a fashion that still persists. The 
Enquirer used to comment proudly every week on the fact that "the 
tar rolls steadily westward", or northward or southward, as the 
case might be. The money was raised, not by a "drive", which 
would have "driven" most of us out of town, but by a series of enter- 
tainments of all i^ossible kinds. In organizing these, Mr. Perkins 
was active and invaluable, and his experience was always available. 
When we wanted a new stage curtain, he sent out and bought strips 
of cloth in claret and buff and had them assembled in exact imita- 
tion of a Vienna concert-hall curtain. When anything was to be 
done that required money, experience, judgment or hard work, his 
was the name first in our minds, and he never failed us. Of Mr. 
Perkins' other and great services to Litchfield this is not the place 
to speak ; but the fact that he was the first president of the Shepaug 
Eailroad reminds me that I must not overlook the great part that 
this institution played in our lives in the 70's. 

The history of almost every railroad is worth writing. Will 
that of the Shepaug ever be set down? From start to finish it 
was a fight. When Edwin McNeill was making the preliminary 
surveys, he was confronted time and again by angry farmers who 
objected to the proceedings as trespass. When it comes to a con- 
sciousness of the rights of land proprietorship, the average Con- 
necticut farmer makes an English Duke look "like thirty cents". 
On one occasion the opposing farmer bore a shot-gun, and threat- 
ened to use it; Mr, McNeill calmly vaulted the fence, saying: "Come 
on boys; I have smelt powder before!" The farmer did not shoot. 

S ;»'«>. ..'r«« ^ ^,H.JT -rra^r- 

Hon. J. Deming Perkins 


Later came the fight to induce the to^viis along the route to subscribe 
for the stock. This raged in the town meetings and is best described 
in John D. Champlin's Chronicles of Sirrom, (Morris spelled back- 
ward), first printed anonymously in the Sentinel, of which Champ- 
lin was then editor. As a piece of semi-political pamphleteering, 
this takes high rank. 

But we boys did not really get into the game until actual con- 
struction work began at our end of the line. Eecognizing the value 
of the stimulation of interest by visualization, Mr. Perkins even 
had rails teamed over from East Litchfield, so that they could be 
laid here before the arrival of the outfit from Hawleyville. We 
were interested spectators of the work from the early day when 
Miss Lucretia Deming's ice-house was split in two by the work- 
men's picks, to the triumphant hour when the whistle announcing 
the arrival of the Waramaug at the foot of West Hill brought out 
our whole population. It will be remembered that the names of our 
three locomotives: Shepaug, Waramaug, and Weantinaug, moved a 
jealous neighboring sheet to remark, that they augured well for the 

Then began the fun for us boys. Things were new and rules 
were slack, and we rode on the engines of construction trains as 
much as we pleased. I even remember seeing Eph Mower standing 
at the throttle upon occasion. Of course we knew intimately all 
conductors, brakemen, engineers and firemen. What Litchfield boy 
was not proud to number among his friends the redoubtable Al 
Paul? Al was a Welshman, and worth knowing. If Eoosevelt 
shook hands habitually with his faithful engineer and fireman, we 
went him one better; we adored ours, they were as heroes and demi- 
gods to us. Putting up the hand brakes, there were no air brakes 
then, became a standard sport with us. All this was educational, 
although if we had suspected that it was, doubtless we should have 
turned to something else. 

In my boyhood, Litchfield had lately been a purely American 
community, by which I mean one inhabited almost solely by families 
of English descent. There were only half a dozen negroes or so, 
and the Irish had only recently begun to come in, I remember no 
other exotic races. This accounts for the fact that individual mem- 
bers of these two races play a large part in my memories. The 
negroes were not employed as house servants, or in general outdoor 
work about houses. They were not coachmen or gardeners, but 
were manual laborers on outside jobs. In the South, black and 
white boys play freely together. What the Southerner is particular 
about is not social contact, but social status. The latter did not 
worry us, but there were onlj^ two negro boys, as I recollect, who 
associated with us. One was Charles Nicholas Doute, a West 
Indian, brought here as a servant by the McNeills. His French 
accent and queer ways amused us, and caused him to be graded in 
a class by himself. The other was Sam Rowe, the son of Solomon 
Eowe, sexton of St. Michael's Church. The Eowes were altogether 


a notable family. Their hospitality was without stint, and their 
little shack, already bursting with the Eowe family, was warranted 
to hold as many guests as applied for admission. Sol was a wit. 
When a certain young rector, who had business interests in New 
York, used to absent himself from his duties, so frequently as to 
cause remark, Sol said, "I can always tell when Mr. X. is going 
to be away, for the Sunday before he always preaches from the text : 
'It is expedient that I should leave you' ". 

The Eowes, I believe, had been Northern for some generations. 
A great contrast were the Elliots, who came from the South Avith 
Jack, the head of the family, after the Civil War. These were 
negroes of the real Virginia plantation variety. Jack presided at 
the rear of the Congregational organ, during the pastorate of the 
Kev. Mr. Elliot, which led some wit to remark that there was an 
Elliot blowing at each end of the Church. 

About the only other colored families in toAvn were the Harri- 
sons and the Jacksons, and I can pass over neither. The Jacksons 
have already been mentioned as the last family whose ancestor had 
been a Litchfield slave. As known to me, they were Aunt Lucy 
and Crazy Caroline. The latter was really out of her mind and 
used to parade the streets with corn-silk curls and a small branch 
for a parasol. Aunt Lucy was a colored Mrs. Partington. On 
being asked once where she was going, she replied: ''Oh, just around 
the corner to explode". On another occasion she expressed her 
pleasure on the receipt of some gift by remarking: "I am not only 
gratified, but highly mollified". Meeting on the street Gideon H. 
Hollister, who had just been appointed to the Haytian mission by 
President Johnson, she thus addressed him: "Well, Mr. Hollister I 
I hear you've been appointed minister to Hayti! Well, I hope 
you'll preach to 'em, and convert 'em all!" To one who inquired if 
she were comfortably situated, she replied: "I have everything that 
heart could wish in full bloom, and some in maturity!" 

As for the Harrisons, they were brothers. Miles and Ej^aphro- 
ditus, Paiphe for short. Paiphe was a great bulky, lumbering 
giant, in demand where brute strength was required, and ready to 
shout out rough badinage at any boy who would take it. If any- 
one should be surprised at this extended treatment of the so-called 
menial classes, I would remind him that these classes bulk ven^ 
large in the experience of children. In a village like Litchfield, the 
boys are acquainted with all the cooks and all the hired men, and 
many of them, to be sure, are well worth knowing. 

As I have said, we were just beginning to know the Irish. They 
lived in a colony at the foot of East Hill, then known as Lavinville; 
for the Lavin family formed no inconsiderable part of it, and the 
family was one of standing and influence. Patrick Lavin, the head 
of it, had begun, many years before in Ireland, his education for 
the priesthood. I know not why or how it was interrupted, but 
it was an awesome thing for a boy to have a man making his 
garden, who had studied Latin. 


At this time the Irish in Litchfield were all domestic servants 
and day laborers. Their advance, here and elsewhere, in a single 
generation, is one of the most notable changes in our country with 
which I am familiar. I never knew a finer lady in temperament 
and manners than old Mrs. Lavin. She was the soul of considerate 
politeness. On one occasion I had achieved, in a course of lessons 
in draAving, what I considered a masterpiece in the form of a 
picture of a barrel, with orthodox perspective and shading. I ran 
to show my result to Mrs. Lavin, who was washing clothes. She 
dried her hands, took the drawing and admired it for some time. 
Then she said: "My, my! but isn't it fine! Sure, it's a church, isn't 
it?" Now, the drawing was really not so bad; but Mrs, Lavin's 
eyesight was failing. I have always loved her for her desire to 
say the right thing. 

Two generations made a difference. Possibly also saying the 
right thing, but from a different standpoint and in a different way, 
Mrs. Lavin's little granddaughter, carving knife in hand, chased 
Charlie Belden, who had said "shoo" to the family rooster, down 
East Street, shouting the while this bloody threat: "I'll cut the 
one head off ye!" That suggestion of a possible cranial plurality 
always amused me. 

Our colored Mrs. Partington, described above, was not our only 
one. Decidedly "male, white and 21", was Ed Peck, who filled, for 
what now seems to have been a large part of my boyhood, the office 
of jailer in Litchfield. Huge of frame, kindly of speech, popular 
with one and all, Ed could rarely say exactly what he meant. Put 
forward to utter a few words of thanks, when a delegation, of 
which he was a member, had been entertained at lunch, he said 
briefly: "Gentlemen; I thank you very kindly for your handsome 
coalition". And in narrating his part in the contribution of a 
fund for some suffering brother or sister, he went on: "So I 
mounted down off my horse and put in my poor pitiless mite". 

I was particularly interested in our two newspapers. In the 
first place I have always been intrigued by print, and secondly I 
was intimate with both editors. George A. Hickox, of the Enquirer, 
was my next door neighbor, and John D. Champlin Jr., of the 
Sentinel, was my first cousin. He lived at the Mansion House, and 
his sanctum there was the literary Mecca of my early yeai*®. The 
Enquirer and the Sentinel carried a line of good-humored political 
badinage in those days that was rather better than some modern 
equivalents. The Sentinel had several editors after Champlin went 
to New York, and it finally passed out; but the Enquirer lives on 
forever. Mr. Hickox made it a valuable sheet in a literary wa3\ 
His editorials and book reviews would have done credit to The 
Nation; but the average rural subscriber, doubtless, did not know 
that; and as an original War-Democrat his post-war Eepublicanism 
was regarded by some as not over stalwart. I well remember a 
review of Froude's Caesar that was a masterpiece; but all he got 
for it was the following skit from the Winsted Herald: "The Litch- 


field Enquirer prints a two-column obituary of the late Julius 
Caesar. The deceased was much thought of in Litchfield". I 
believe that my proximity to Mr. and Mrs. Hickox, as a boy, was 
rather more important to me, from a purely educational point of 
view, than the fact that I afterward went to college. The Hickoxes 
were not original Litchfielders. Mr. Hickox was from Washington, 
and his wife was a South Carolinian. For me the intellectual 
center of Litchfield was in their house, next to ours on East Street, 
still owned by their daughter. There one could hear discussed 
intelligently science, religion, literature and politics. Mr. Hickox 
was also a fine musician ; and we had at that time a very creditable 
musical ensemble: Dr. William Deming, first violin; Dr. Gates, 
viola; Mr. Hickox, 'cello; Julius Deming, double bass; to which 
were often added brass and wood-winds, as represented by flute and 
comet. The playing of these musicians went far to form our 
musical taste. 

Dr. Howard E. Gates was also organist of St. Michael's. He 
frequently went into the church to practice, and as he was prone to 
forget his key, he left a window unfastened that he might use it as 
an emergency entrance. One afternoon he proceeded to enter the 
church in this way, and had forced about half his body through 
the narrow w4ndow when he chanced to look up and saw to his 
astonishment that Mr. Perry stood at the reading desk, conducting 
evening prayer, in the presence of a numerous congregation. It 
was Lent, a fact that had escaped the absent-minded doctor. Dr. 
Gates afterward said that what chiefly riveted his attention was 
the face of Mrs. Perry, in the foregroimd, gazing at his burglarious 
efforts with a look of fascinated horror that he never forgot. Some 
kind friend sent an account of this incident to The Police Gazette 
of New York, and this classic sheet issued a full page picture of 
it, in which St. Michael's was expanded to about the size of St. 
Patrick's Cathedral and was filled with a worshiping multitude, 
while no feature of the method by which the doctor was gaining 
admittance was allowed to lack in sensationalism. 

In my boyhood there was much boasting about the excellence of 
the Connecticut common school system, based on the fund that was 
the proceeds of the sale of the so-called Western Eeserve in Ohio. 
I used to wonder why, if our free schools were so fine, we should 
see no local evidence of the fact. We had in Litchfield one District 
School, situated on West Street, and differing only in size from such 
rural district schools as those on South Plains and Harris Plains. 
Nobody went to it, who could afford a term's tuition at the Insti- 
tute, whose building now forms part of the Henry E. Jones resi- 
dence on North Street. My memory does not go back to the days 
of the Kev. James Eichards, who used to throw inkstands at the 
boys and otherwise give way to an ungovernable temper. Mr. 
Eichards deserves mention in this connection on account of his 
talented granddaughter, Mrs. Craigie, whose novels, written in 
London, under the pen-name of John Oliver Hobbes, are of a high 


order of literary excellence and have doubtless been read by many 
Litclifielders wlio do not know the author's connection with our town. 

My first memories of the Institute are of the time when it was 
revived after a brief period of coma by Edwin McNeill, Dr. Buel, 
Henry E. Coit, and others, who had large families of children and 
hesitated to take advantage of the Free School system, as it then 
was. At this period I was interested chiefly in the primary depart- 
ment, and Miss Sarah Bronson was my instructor. 

In the 70's no one's education w^as considered complete in Litch- 
field unless he or she had studied French, — a tribute to the waning 
pre-eminence of that tongiie in the world of polite letters. The 
schools taught no languages but the dead ones, so we depended on 
private tutors. The Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who filled this 
office in Litchfield formed an unbroken succession of character 
studies. They taught us a little French and a great deal about 
the characteristics of the French people. 

There was little Mamselle Brun, like a small dried apple, who 
had rooms at Stephen Trowbridge's, where the Playhouse noAV 
stands. She said once, with a toss of her head: "What a differ- 
ence zere is be-tween Madame B. and myself! She is all dignity* 
while / am all grace and ease!" 

Then there was old M. Laslier, noted for his frequent trans- 
Atlantic trips. His benevolent Litchfield friends would subscribe 
enough to send him to his dear Paris, where his relatives, after a 
brief visit, would invariably ship him back to us. His income 
from Litchfield students of French was not large, and it was 
currently reported that in his room in the Beckwith block he lived 
on something like an onion a day: there is no doubt about the 
onion, though I will not swear to the day. He was fain to eke 
out his income in various ways; once, for instance, by delivering 
a lecture on Lafayette, in what was then known as the "old church",^ 
now the moving picture palace. Dressed in solemn black he rose, 
before a select audience of his Litchfield friends, tiptoed to the 
edge of the platform, closed his eyes, and began to recite the Lord's 
Prayer, while his auditors did not quite know how to take it. In 
the course of the lecture occurred this passage: "About zees time, 
a gr-r-eat misfortune happen to Lafayette. He loss his gr-ran- 
mothair!" Loud shouts of laughter from the audience, to the amaze- 
ment and disgust of the lecturer. 

Of a different stamp was the debonair M. Laloux, of an age to 
touch the liearts of the susceptible. At the opening meeting of hi» 
first class, he divided the members into grades, and when Anna 
Hubbard alone was left he said genially: "Mees Hubbard, you may 
split yourself up anyway you like!" Laloux was anxious that his 
English should be both classy and up-to-date, and when his use of 
slang caused laughter, he Avould inquire in all seriousness: "Aha! 
Ees not zat in use in ze best circles?" 

An educational institution not intended as such, but function- 
ing on the whole in the direction of righteousness, was the County 


court house, then our ouly temple of justice. New Milford, Falls 
Village and Winsted had not then arisen as rival centers. We 
attended many of the trials diligently. To watch a real story 
unfold before one's eyes, to see the actual characters and hear them 
tell what they had seen or experienced, and later to listen to the 
impassioned pleas of the opposing counsel and the calm summing 
up of the judge, followed by the breathless "waiting for the ver- 
dict", — all this goes far ahead of any novel I have ever read, or 
any play I ever saw. That at any rate, was the way we felt in 
the 70's. Of course the story thus unfolded was always one of 
crime or misdemeanor, though we took it all impersonally. The real 
protagonists, in our eyes, were the lawyers: the judge was too 
remote and chill to be regarded in that capacity. We naturally 
took sides with the local talent: Henry B. Graves, Edward W. Sey- 
mour, Solon B. Johnson. I was a little doubtful about Johnson, 
because he edited the Sentinel, a Democratic sheet, and I was a 
Republican, but his wit was something that could be matched at the' 
Litchfield bar neither before nor since. 

I well remember him in his defence of Green, an alleged wife- 
poisoner. He was pouring out the vials of his sarcasm on some 
luckless physician, who had testified that he had prescribed the 
application of ice for the wife, who had admittedly died of an over- 
dose of strychnine, whether administered by her husband or not. "Once 
upon a time", narrated Johnson, "a workman who was tamping a 
blasting charge with a crowbar had the misfortune to set it off; and 
the bar was driven through his body, half protruding on either side. 
A doctor was summoned, who gave the following opinion: 'My good 
man, if I leave that bar there, you'll die. If I pull it out, you'll 
die. But I'll tell you w^hat I'll do. I'll give you a pill that will 
melt it where it is!" Johnson went on to say: 'Our friend here 
would doubtless have prescribed — ice'." For such passages as these 
we waited, holding our breaths, while Solon B. was speaking. His 
basso-profundo voice and preternatural solemnity, together with his 
stature of about six feet three, added to the effect. 

Edward W. Seymour was my Sunday School teacher and as 
such I revered and loved him. He was rather belligerent in court, 
and on one occasion when he was on a side that I had previously 
made up my mind was the wrong one, I was so torn between con- 
flicting emotions that I almost resolved to frequent the halls of 
justice no longer. We always took sides and debated the cases 
among ourselves with some heat. 

Politics bulked somewhat more large in our lives in the 70's 
than it does, I think, in those of the boys of to-day. The Civil War 
had recently ended, and our political ideas expressed themselves 
largely in military form. Why this should have been the case more 
in 1870 than in 1920, when a much greater war has just ended, possi- 
bly some sociologist will explain. Each political party had its 
semi-military marching organization, and we had ours in imitation 
of our elders. I recollect parading on the North Street sidewalk 

Mrs. Edward W. Seymour. (Mary Floyd Tallmadge) 


and shouting: "Hurrah for Hawley! Get out for English!" These 
being respectively the Republican and Democratic candidates for 
Governor. I had no doubt whatever that Joseph R, Hawley was 
good and that James E. English was wicked. My Democratic boy 
friends held precisely the opposite opinion. How much present 
day political feeling is any more logical? The old-fashioned elec- 
tion-day Avould have scandalized the modern Litchfielder, I am sure. 
We boys were allowed to make lists of the voters, as they deposited 
their ballots, so that the political committees could check them up; 
and we proudly supposed that we were performing an official func- 
tion of some sort. As the day wore on, our mothers kept us 
indoors, for the outlying voter was bent on painting the town red 
before he returned to his rural home, and he often succeeded in so 
doing to the point of actual riot. 

Just as our elections have become more orderly, so the spirit 
of order has spread in other directions. Litchfield has spruced 
up. She gives more attention to-day to the things that please the 
eye. In the late 60's, she was what we should now call slovenly. 
Her lawns were uncut, her citizens thought more of the value of 
an acre's crop of hay than of the pleasures of looking upon closely 
cropped SAvard. Her yards were fenced, for there were not infre- 
quently stray animals in the streets and the Town Pound was 
something more than a name. By night the streets were dark, and 
the possession of a hand lantern or two was a necessity in every 
well-regulated family. Those distant lights, with their irregular 
motion, compounded of the lantern's own pendulum swing and the 
forward progress of him who held it, were familiar sights in those 
days. Even after Mr. Perkins' shocking innovation of lamp-posts, 
and even after the V. I. S. had encouraged private lights on the 
tree trunks, the individual lantern still retained its popularity. It 
is hard to realize the revolution wrought by electricity in our noc- 
turnal habits, here and elsewhere. 

In the winter we walked in the street. When we trace back 
the sequence of causes, we come again to the Town Pound, oddly 
enough. An occasional stray horse, cow, or pig, meant a fence to 
keep them out; a fence, when the snow flies, acts precisely like the 
snow-guards along the western railroad lines: it slows up the air 
current, which drops its burden and builds up a drift along the 
obstacle. These drifts were, with us, often higher than the fences, 
and when hard we walked on them. Cleaning off the sidewalks 
would have inA'olved a continuous cut through impacted snow; 
hence Ave walked in the middle of the street, and Avelcomed the ox- 
sleds with their loads of wood, then the fashionable fuel, which 
broke the road for us. The Borough regulations noAV require the 
removal of snoAV, but the householder may thank the present infre- 
quency of wandering beasts for the possibility of fence-removal that 
has made our streets like parkways and incidentally abolished the 
worst of the drifts. 


In general, Litclifield's aspect is more colonial to-day than it 
was in 1870. People Avere proud then of the old houses, but never 
thought of keeping up their general effect in new constructions. 
We think Ave have an artistic sense now-a-days. Perhaps we have, 
but I fear that our racial history is all against it. Just now it is 
fashionable to be guided by artistic motives, but it is the fashion, 
not the art, that we obey primarily. In the Revolutionary days, 
it was the fashion to build houses such as the Georgian architects 
were building in the old country. That the motive was fashion, 
not an appreciation of the beautiful, is sufficiently proved by the 
fact that when fashion shifted to ugliness Ave began at once, Avith 
these colonial gems before our very eyes, to build probably the 
ugliest structures that the eye of man has ever rested on. We are 
clearing them away noAv; scroll-saAV decoration and pseudo-gothic 
construction are going to the scrap heap, but that we have become 
incapable of similar atrocities in the future I fear to believe. We 
are no more original uoav than Ave Avere then; but Ave are imitating 
the old models, which chance, heaven be praised, to be the better 

So Ave may see in Litchfield streets to-day more good colonial 
architecture than Ave did fifty years ago, although Ave may also see 
some houses Avhich, beautiful and costly as they may be, are not in 
accord with its traditions. As for our church buildings, they are 
all architecturally bad, and our one beautiful example of colonial 
work we have tucked off in a corner, Avhere it shelters a movie shoAV. 
This is the saddest thing I know about Litchfield. In the early 
70's it is a fact that the old colonial buildings were covertly sneered 
at or regarded with amused tolerance. We felt toAvard them like 
the western visitor to the Philadelphia Exposition of '76, who, as 
related by the late Dr. William Deming, exclaimed to him dis- 
appointedly: "I thought they Av^ould have some up-to-date buildings; 
these old Greek things must be three hundred years old!" 

I have said above that in Avinter Ave Avalked in the streets. A 
good snow surface, hardened by passing runners, is not a bad 
pavement, but it is sadly dependent on temperature. The snow 
turned to slush and the frozen earth to mud, in mid-street, long 
before the disappearance of the snoAV banks Avhich buried our 
sidewalks. Then it Avas irksome to walk abroad. I have seen 
laboring vehicles up to the hubs, I speak literally, in soft mud, 
almost anywhere on North or South Streets. Not even an attempt 
to improve the roads with gravel was made until the 80's, and the 
macadam came much later. Even then we lived in flying and 
floating dust until the prevalence of motor traffic, only a few years 
ago, forced the use of oil and the preparations of tar, Avhich though 
odorous and dirty in themselves have possibly contributed more to 
our general comfort and cleanliness than any other improvement of 
the last half century. These good roads, thanks to an enlightened 
state policy, are creeping out through the country in all directions. 
Fortunately for those who come among us for rest and enjoyment, 


they are almost all scenic highways, as well as serving for com- 
merce, their primary purpose. I do not know a section of the Union 
where one may follow the ordinary channels of communication with 
so great a certainty of seeing pleasing and constantly changing 

All the things that I have mentioned, repaired, restored and 
cleaned buildings, shaven lawns, well lighted streets, hard, dust- 
less roads, combine to produce on the visitor the impression of a 
well kept park, that old Litchfield gave in a much less degree. 
What is the cause of the change? Many persons would answer, 
wealthy summer visitors. But this does not go to the root of the 
matter. The change is due to a development of community feeling 
and civic self-respect in which the influence of the summer resi- 
dent with wealth and taste has been an undoubted factor. No one 
can take stock of the houses on North and South Streets without 
seeing that the number occupied in summer only has greatly increased. 
Yet it is true that the civic spirit of which I have spoken began 
to show itself long before the increase of summer residents. It first 
showed itself in the Village Improvement Society, which gave us 
shaven lawns, street crossings, concrete sidewalks, street lights, and 
best of all a conviction that these things were good and a deter- 
mination to have more of them. It cropped out later in the willing- 
ness of our citizens to put good money into improved railway com- 
munication, sewerage, water and lighting. Whether public or 
private enterprise was the immediate cause, the underlying impulse 
was the same, a quickened community consciousness, acting under 
the spur of intelligent leadership and itself reacting to raise up 
and stimulate new leaders. In all this, of course, the men of 
means and good taste who have made Litchfield their siunmer home 
have played a capital part; but it should be noted that these are 
very largely Litchfielders themselves, by ancestry or by long resi- 
dence. This town has been fortunate in its summer visitors. Many 
a place has been ruined by them. Litchfield appears to be so con- 
stituted that the sort of people it does not want do not like it and 
would not live here under any circumstances. The exact reason 
for all this will bear study; a passing mention is all that we can 
give it here. It is surely noteworthy that without putting up the 
bars, Avithout formally creating a park or a club or anything of the 
kind, this village has always been able to secure the citizens it 
wants and to exclude undesirables. 

Is this tendency toward the replacement of all-year residents by 
summer visitors a good thing or not? That depends on what we 
desire for Litchfield. In Torrington or Waterbury it would be a 
very bad thing. Imagine, if you can, 60 per cent of the residents of an 
industrial town turned out of their homes to make room for semi- 
annual occupants! There could be no successful industrial life 
under such conditions. If you want Litchfield to be an industrial 
town, you will conclude that the change is bad for it also. Even 
as it is, movement in this direction may have gone far enough. 


None of us, I think, Avoiild like to see every house on North and 
South Streets closed every winter. Permanent residential families 
are needed here to carry on the Litchfield social and community tra- 
ditions, but without the yearly access of other citizens from with- 
out, these traditions would be more apt to grow flat, stale and 
unprofitable. This presupposes, of course, free social intercourse 
between permanent and temporaiy residents, and this has always 
been the rule unless the temporary residents are unworthy. There 
has never been any distinction here between visitors and towns- 
people. I used to be afraid of it and I remember a symptom or 
two in times now happily long passed. It is not altogether because 
Litchfield people have always been socially acceptable. They have 
been that of course; but I have been in old New England towns 
where families of as good birth, breeding and education as ours were 
placed in the disagreeable position of being looked down upon by 
persons of extremely doubtful urban antecedents, whose wealth had 
enabled them to create a social machine which rolled over that of 
the old fashioned residents as a veritable car of Juggernaut. The 
reason is rather that so many of our most influential summer resi- 
dents have themselves been Litchfielders by birth or ancestry, 
that many of the houses left vacant in the winter have been old 
family mansions, links between the permanent society of the village 
and its summer social fabric. A visitor at the Hotel was heard 
to remark recently that she desired to attend a function at the 
Club House, in order "to see what a real country audience looked 
like". If she had done so, she would have seen a gathering com- 
posed partly of New Yorkers, and residents of other cities, and 
partly of those who dwell in Litchfield the year round; but I doubt 
if she would have been able to distinguish between them, certainly 
not by their long chin-whiskers and the hayseeds in their hair. 

The community feeling, of which I have already spoken, has 
doubtless been strengthened by the very fact that so many persons 
have thus loved Litchfield as a community rather than any par- 
ticular persons in it, or any particular locality in it. Our feeling 
of affection for it is rather a compound than a sum; we have the 
people, and the houses, and the elms, and the hills, but the result- 
ing feeling is related to these in the same way that the properties 
of a chemical compound are related to those of its constituents. 
No one can taste in salt the chlorine or the sodium that compose it. 
Now the fact that so many persons have always regarded Litchfield 
in the community sense must have had the effect of increasing and 
developing community feeling in its citizens. I believe that this feel- 
ing has been and is being transmitted to the younger generation 
and I see no reason why it should die out, though it may be modi- 
fied. It is quite evidently modified indeed by a factor that is 
changing the whole of modern life. I refer to the possibility of 
rapid transit by automobile. The motor has contracted our maps 
in the same proportion that it has extended our facilities. Comparing 
what the scientists call the hour curves of travel of a half centurv 


ago, Avith those of the present, we find that the time grade of our 
neighborhood has been completely altered since my boyhood. Then 
the first hour circle, for most of us, would have passed through 
Bantam, about half way to Torrington, and a mile this side of East 
Litchfield. For those of us who had horses at command it would 
have lain somewhat further out. But to-day, how the lines have 
sprung apart! The first hour line of the automobile may pass 
beyond New Milford on one side and two-thirds of the way to Hart- 
ford on the other. The second may lie partly outside the State. 

The result of this state of things is that for the present gener- 
ation the environs of Litchfield have broadened out well over the 
State, overlapping and intermingling with those of many other 
cities and towns. We thought of Litchfield as our all; to them 
it is merely a center, a place from which to start and to which to 
return. Their knowledge of it is vastly more extensive than ours 
was; but ours was more intensive. They know how to get from 
Harwinton to Farmington; we knew how to walk across country 
to Prospect Mountain and the quickest way from HoUister's Bridge 
to Chestnut Hill. They know the broad topography of the coun- 
try in many counties, the lay of hill ranges, the valleys and streams ; 
we knew every path, the stones in all the brooks, almost every tree, 
within a narrow radius of a few miles. I do not know that either 
knowledge is better than the other; each differs from the other, 
that is all. 

Their Litchfield is not quite ours; but the change here is not 
objective, but subjective, though it has been brought about by a 
material factor, the invention of machinery for rapid transporta- 
tion. I see no reason why the extended Litchfield should bar out 
the intimate knowledge of immediate surroundings. In many 
cases it seems to have done so; in some few it has not, and I hope 
that its permanent effect will be to add to our opportunities, not 
simply to substitute one set for another. 

In only one respect can I see that the old intimate and inten- 
sive knoAvledge of the country, of which I have spoken, has held 
its own. Our people, young and old, know the river well, between 
the Little Pond and the Lake. They know it better than we did. 
We went in row-boats from one pond to the other; they start with 
their flock of canoes from the canoe-house. Here is a sport into 
which speed cannot enter, and its continued popularity is a hope- 
ful sign. But elsewhere, as I have said, the Speed King sits on 
his throne. 

It is in line with our community life that we have become 
'"socialized" in many ways unknown to our ancestors. In my boy- 
hood, the churches were the chief social as well as religious organi- 
zations. Now we have clubs for old and young, and for both 
together. In my boyhood the ever present gang instinct showed 
itself in the formation of temporary groups, but these were unknown 
to our elders as well as unnoticed by them. A club to which old 
and young alike should belong would have been unthinkable; such 


clubs indeed were unlieard of anywhere in onr country in that day. 
Their advent is an indication that everywhere, and not in Litchfield 
alone, we are moving in this country toward a more coherent social 
organization. But the existence of bodies of the kind we now have 
in so small a community as ours, is evidence, it would seem, that 
this movement has gone further and struck in deeper in Litchfield 
than in other places. 

The opinion has been expressed that the greatest change in 
Litchfield is a liberalization of thought and habit, a loosening of 
the bonds in religion and morals, a reaction in fact from Puritanism. 
This is perhaps true, but it is not peculiar to Litchfield, and if 
we take a broad enough view we need not attach supreme impor- 
tance to it. These things swing in cycles. There are always 
Puritans and always Cavaliers. Changes mean only that there 
is a slight shifting of majorities, whereby now one and now the 
other is in the ascendancy. 

Possibly some may think that this attempt to tell of the changes 
in Litchfield has succeeded only in showing that it has changed 
very little, perhaps not at all. I shall not feel that I have failed 
altogether, even if this is the conclusion. Human nature is eternally 
the same, and its manifestations cannot vary greatly with the years. 
Whatever our changes have been, they are essentially human, and 
our lack of change is human also. Litchfielders will be men and 
women for many a year to come, and we may hope and expect 
that they will continue to be the type of men and women that have 
honored Litchfield in the past, the outcome of an honest and 
sturdy stock, shaped by an environment that they and their ancestors 
have loved, and that can never, we are proud to think, turn out an 
inferior product. 




It is difficult to look back upon the past few years as a "period" 
in our history, the events are so recent that it seems only yester- 
day that we were doing as a matter of course, all the things here 
recorded, because our one thought was that "we must win the war". 
The sympathy of our town was so whole-heartedly with the Allies, 
that from the outbreak of the war in Europe in August, 1914, we 
felt that we were with them spiritually in the great struggle, and 
it was with a deep sense of relief that we took our place beside 
them in 1917. 

The first evidence of our sjonpathy for the Avar victims was an 
appeal for funds, issued by the Litchfield Red Cross Chapter on 
August 13, 1914, which met with a generous response. The first 
relief work done in our town was started by Miss E. D. Bininger, 
who gathered together a group of women to make garments for 
the wounded Belgians. 

On September 5, 1914, a very successful Lawn Fete was given 
for the benefit of the Red Cross at Kilravock Farm, the home of Mr. 
and Mrs. Louis A. Ripley. The fete was organized by Mrs. William 
Woodville Eockhill and her general committee, Mrs. John L. Buel 
and Mrs. Ripley. Mr. and Mrs. Rockhill had just returned to 
Litchfield to live, having lived abroad while Mr. Rockhill was in 
the diplomatic service. 

The day of the fete was all that could be desired, and it was 
estimated that about 1,300 persons attended, many coming by auto- 
mobile from distant parts of the state. The diversions furnished 
by the committee were varied enough, to suit all tastes, and 
included a Gymkhana, a ball game (which Litchfield lost to Water- 
town) , dancing, a baby show, fortune telling, a horse race, a shoot- 
ing gallery and lawn games. A special feature, which was much 
admired, was the charmingly arranged enclosure of the Garden 
Club, wherein Avere sold i)lants, flowers, seeds and garden imple- 

The Litchfield Enquirer issued a souvenir edition, in honor of 
the occasion, emblazoned with the Red Cross emblem, Avhich was 
sold on the grounds. Many new members were secured for the 
Red Cross. The sum of $4,000 was sent to the Red Cross National 
Headquarters, $1,600 of which represented the proceeds of the fete, 
and the remainder donations. 


A second Lawn Fete was held a year later at Kilravoek Farm, 
also for the benefit of the Eed Cross, and was under the direction 
of Mrs. Eipley and Mrs. Gordon W. Buriiham. Again onr uncer- 
tain New England Aveather, which has been known to spoil the best 
laid plans, was on its good behavior. Besides booths for the sale 
of fancy articles, an excellent vaudeville performance was provided, 
the hit of the afternoon being a minstrel show, given by our leading 
citizens. A boxing match was a great attraction and was watched 
with absorbed attention by a surprising number of our Litchfield 
matrons. The Boy Scouts gave an exhibition and drill, and were 
as always of great assistance in many ways. A prize was awarded 
to the best couple in a dancing contest, and was presented by Mrs. 
E. H. Sothern (Julia Marlowe), our distinguished siunmer visitor. 
$1,500 was raised for the Red Cross. 

During the summer of 1916, Miss Harriet C. Abbe organized 
regular sessions for the making of hospital garments and surgical 
dressings for the Allies. When Miss Abbe left in the fall for her 
winter home, this work was taken over by the Litchfield Chapter 
of the Eed Cross, under the direction of Mrs. Charles H. Coit, who 
served as chairman of the Production Committee from this time 
until June, 1919. 

As the Litchfield Chapter has, like so many institutions in our 
town, so long and honorable a career behind it, it is necessary here 
to go back and briefly outline its history up to 1914. Organized 
in May, 1898, as Red Cross Auxiliary No. 16, our Chapter has the 
distinction of being the oldest Red Cross organization in Con- 

The Auxiliary was started for the purpose of helping the 
soldiers in the Spanish- American War, and produced 3,646 hospital 
garments, and raised $708.10 during the summer of 1898. These 
amounts are interesting, as later we shall see the enormous figures 
which were piled up in money and output, after we had been trained 
to think in millions. 

The Auxiliarj^ was re-organized in October, 1900, as Auxiliary 
No. 5, of the American National Red Cross, which had b}^ this time 
secured the protection and recognition of the United States Govern- 
ment for its insignia. On July 11, 1905, it was again re-organized 
and the Auxiliary became Sub-Division No. 1, of the Connecticut 
Branch. In March 1910, the Sub-Division became a full fledged 
chapter with jurisdiction over the entire county, and it was as 
the Litchfield County Chapter that we began our war work in 1914. 

The Red Cross work rooms have been housed in various places. 
Some of the earliest meetings were held in the Town Hall. For the 
succeeding summers, the Lawn Club was put at the disposal of the 
Chapter, by the owner, Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel. The Community 
Center room was used for the first Avinter, when cold weather made 
the Lawn Club uninhabitable ; for the following winters the Sanctum 
Club gave up the second floor of its club house to the workers. 


In 1916 the war still raged on, and "preparedness" became tlie 
great issue. Hobart Guion, George Guion, Edward Pikosky, E. 
Dunscomb Sanford and Frank Barrett organized a military com- 
pany, which Avas called the "Litchfield Kifles", and which met once 
a week for business and drilL Edward Pikosky, who had been a 
drillmaster in the United States Army, and Lieut. Robert F. Jack- 
son, TJ. S. A. (retired), trained the company. 

At the same time another company sprang into existence, the 
"Litchfield Light Horse", with thirty members, and the weekly 
drills under the supervision of George Guion and Edward Pikosky 
became quite a picturesque feature of our quiet streets. These com- 
panies were i>urely civic and had no connection in any way with 
the state or federal governments. 

Litchfield's daughters believed in "preparedness" as well as her 
young men, and a number of them joined the Eifle Club, becoming 
so proficient that they were regarded as a real bulwark against the 
Huns, should Litchfield ever be invaded. It is perhaps well to add, 
that while the Eifle Club held many of its meetings for practice In 
the "lock-up" of the Court House, no damage was done to building 
or members. 

Our town was well represented at both Plattsburg Officers' 
Reserve Camps, in 1916 and 1917, several of our young men receiv- 
ing commissions. 

In February 1917 came the severing of diplomatic relations 
with Germany, and Ave kncAv it Avas only a question of time when 
the United States would take her place Avith the Allies. Acting 
upon instructions from National Headquarters, the Litchfield Chap- 
ter of the Eed Cross called a public meeting and took the necessary 
steps to put the chapter on a war basis. 

The period Avhich folloAved AA^as a time of painful anxiety Avhile 
the whole country Avaited for Avar to be declared with Germany. The 
state of tension Avhicli Ave all felt is shown by the foUoAving 
telegram, signed by Mrs. John L. Buel, as State Eegent of the 
D. A. R., and about thirty men, representing all the business and 
professional interests of the toAvn: "The following citizens of Litch- 
field, Conn., ask for positive stand for Avar Avith Germany to pre- 
serve national safety and honor"; and sent to President Wilson, 
Senator Frank B. Brandegee and Congressman James P. Glynn. 

A state of Avar Avith Germany was declared on April 6, 1917, 
and the machinery for putting the nation on a Avar footing Avas 
set in motion. With our bo,ys enlisting for service overseas, the 
older men welcomed the opportunity for patriotic service in the 
home town, and the Governor's call for the formation of a Con- 
necticut State Guard (popularly known as the "Home Guard") 
was quickly ansAvered. A company of 63 infantry and IS calvary 
was mustered in by Captain Henry H. Saunders of Norfolk, on 
May 24. With the formation of the Home Guard the "Litchfield 
Riflles" and the "Light Horse" Avere disbanded. 


With our entry into the war, the conservation and distribution 
of food became a matter of first importance. We were told that 
"food will win the war, don't waste it", in every mail, by every 
newspaper, and from every space where it was possible to hang 
a poster, and accordingly conservation became the order of the 
day. Our town clerk, George H. Hunt, received instructions from 
the Governor to appoint local Food Supply Committees, and thus 
began an era of canning. The Committee on Canning appointed 
by Mr. Hunt was merged with the Home Economics Committee of 
the Farm Bureau, Mrs. Philip P. Hubbard, chairman. A sub- 
committee, on Canning and Labor (an excellent title) with Miss 
Harriet M. Kichards as chairman, worked valiantly to conserve sur- 
plus fruit and vegetables. A volunteer force was organized and 
canning was done for individual customers, supplies were laid in 
for the school lunch room, and goods were prepared for sale. The 
work was partly done in the school kitchen and partly in the rooms 
of the Farm Bureau. Miss Amy Thurston, Mrs. William S. Plumb, 
and many others helped to make this work the great success it was. 

All the organizations in town did their bit in one way and 
another to help "win the war". The Garden Club gave demonstra- 
tions in the preparation of food, did much publicity work in the 
interests of conservation, distributed war recipes, and held sales of 
fruits and vegetables which might otherwise have been wasted. 
These "French Markets" as they were called, were held on the 
Green and the booth was an attractive sight. 

The Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter of the D. A. E., cooperated 
heartily in all the local war work, besides carrying on the special 
lines of work undertaken by their organization. In the making of 
surgical dressings, in knitting, in food conservation, in the salvage 
of materials needed by the Government (such as the fruit pits which 
were collected for use in the manufacture of gas masks), and in 
the support of all the Liberty Loan Campaigns and all the numer- 
ous drives for money, the members proved themselves true daugh- 
ters of those sturdy pioneers who laid the foundations of the 
democracy we were fighting to save. 

Mrs. John L. Buel was appointed a member of the Women's 
Committee of the State Council of Defense, representing the Daugh- 
ters of the American Eevolution, and was elected first vice-president 
of the Committee. The chairman of the Local Committee for Litch- 
field was Mrs. F. A. Stoddard. 

Under this Local Committee of the State Council of Defense, 
a splendid food show was given on April 18, 1918, in the Town Hall, 
to demonstrate what could be done with the substitutes we were 
asked to use instead of our accustomed foodstuffs. The exhibits 
were not only attractive to the eye, but were absolutely convincing 
as to the possibilities of war cookery, as each visitor was given a 
paper plate and spoon and allowed to discover for himself how 
delicious food could be, and yet be within the bounds we were asked 

Mrs. John Laid law Buel, State Regent, D. A. 
(Elizabeth C. Barney Buel) 




to keep by Mr. Hoover, the Food Commissioner. Brilliant posters 
(without the posters these years of war would have been drab 
indeed) set forth much useful information. In the evening lec- 
tTires were given by Miss Hays of Storrs Agricultural College and 
by Miss Bronson of the Farm Bureau. 

An all-day Victory Conference was held in Litchfield on May 
8, 1918, by the State Council of Defense, under the direction of 
Mrs. Stoddard and her Local Committee. 

The "gasless Sundays" which we were asked to observe were 
well respected. ''Wheatless days" and "meatless days" were scru- 
pulously kept, and most of the clubs in town gave up refreshments 
at their meetings, or if a cup of tea was served, all were asked 
to supply their own sugar. "War gardens" were the fashion, 
and with the great scarcity of labor a unit of the Women's Land 
Army, poj^ularly known as "farmerettes", which was stationed in 
Litchfield, proved of real value. 

The first Liberty Loan Campaign was inaugurated by a meet- 
ing of representatives of all the women's organizations in town, 
called by Mrs. John L. Buel, who had been appointed chairman of 
the Women's Committee for the Loan. Plans were made to canvass 
the town, and a mass meeting arranged for June 10, 1917. At this 
public meeting, which was held in the Congregational church, on 
Sunday afternoon, Charles H. Coit, chairman of the Liberty Loan 
Committee explained the business side of the Loan, and patriotic 
speeches were made by Eev. Frank J. Goodwin, D.D. and Mrs. 

The district covered by the Committee for this Loan was Litch- 
field, Morris, Bethlehem, Washington, Warren, and Goshen; and 
the total subscriptions were $69,050. 

The second Liberty Loan was tremendously helped by the rally 
held on October 25, 1917, which was planned and carried out by 
Edward H. Sothern. $155,000 had been subscribed before the Eally, 
and the amount subscribed at the meeting was $98,750. The pro- 
gram consisted of patriotic music, recitations by both Mr. and 
Mrs. Sothern, and the reading of the Honor Roll of those Litchfield 
boys who were in the sersdce of the country. 

The district covered by the second Loan Avas the same as the 
first, a quota was given of $146,000; and total amount subscribed 
was $305,450. , 

The special feature of the third Liberty Loan Campaign was a 
patriotic rally held at Colonial Hall, April 8, 1918, with Judge 
Robert W. Munger as the speaker of the occasion. The singing 
was led by Thomas F. Ryan. 

Bantam held its own rally for this Loan, under the direction 
of Winfield Scott Rogers and Miss Nellie M. Scott; and the occa- 
sion was a great success. 

For the third Loan the district was changed to the town of 
Litchfield, the quota was $150,500; and the amount subscribed, $217,- 


750, sliows that our town had gone "over the top" again. It is a 
matter of pride, that as far as is known, Litchfield has never failed 
to fill, and more than fill, the quotas which have been set for her, 
in any of the many drives. 

Litchfield was aAvarded an Honor flag for this Loan and an 
interesting celebration marked the raising of the flag. There were 
several four-minute speeches, Mr. Eogers being the first speaker in 
honor of Bantam's splendid record. The flag was raised by Miss 
Nellie M. Scott of Bantam, assisted by Mr. Coit. The assistance 
was so vigorous that the rope was pulled out, leaving Old Glory 
flying at the toi^ of the pole with only one halyard. Louis J. 
Goodman Jr. came to the rescue, "shinnied" up the pole, and brought 
down the flag. The exercises then proceeded according to schedule. 

A "community sing" was held on the Green on Saturday, Sep- 
tember 29, 1918, at noon, at the request of the New England Liberty 
Loan Committee, to mark the ofi'icial opening of the fourth Loan. 
The singing was led by Judge Ryan, assisted by Albert J. Haus- 
mann, bugler. 

The district for the fourth Loftn was again the toAvn of Litch- 
field, the quota was $315,000, and the amount subscribed $437,000. 

The Victory Loan in May, 1919, was not marked by any special 
features. House to house canvassing by the Avomen of the town 
was done for all five Loans, and the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts 
helped greatly in the campaigns. 

For the fifth or Victory Loan the district remained the town of 
Litchfield, the quota was $237,000, and the amou.nt raised $297,300. 

The first Red Cross War Fund Drive for $100,000,000 followed 
immediately after the first Liberty Loan campaign, and was held 
the week of June 18-25, 1917. John H. Lancaster was appointed 
chairman of the drive. The territory covered by the Chapter was 
in a state of readjustment, and in April, 1917, the word "County" 
had been dropped from the name as it no longer applied, many 
sections of the jurisdiction formerly covered having left the Chap- 
ter. The quota for the Litchfield Chapter was $15,000, and tire 
total amount collected was $26,076.53. 

Tlie second War Fund Drive held by the Red Cross for a second 
fund of $100,000,000 was held in May 1918. By this time the terri- 
troy covered by the Litchfield Chapter was thoroughly organized 
and was hard at work answering the ever increasing orders for 
more and more output. The quota was again $15,000 and the sum 
of $34,433.75 was raised. Twenty five per cent, of this amount was 
retained by the Chapter for the work in surgical dressings. 

The work of the Red Cross increased enormously with our 
entrance into the war. To Mrs. Coit, as chairman of the Produc- 
tion Committee, to Mrs. Charles N. Warner, supervisor of knitting 
and refugee garments; to Mrs. John Dove, supervisor of hospital 
garments; and to their faithful workers is due the credit for the 
production of 242,578 surgical dressings, 5,953 knitted articles, 3,734 


hospital garments, 2,407 refugee garments from October 1916 to 
October 1919. The Junior Bed Cross, under the leadership of Mrs. 
William J. Dykes, produced 3,447 refugee garments in addition to 
those mentioned above. 

With the increasing war work the clerical work of the Chapter 
became so heavy that a central office was a necessity. While the 
Executive Committee was still looking in vain for office room, 
Judge Kyan generously offered the use of a room in his building, 
which was supplied with all the equipment needed, such as type- 
writer, telephone, etc. The offer was gratefully accepted, and the 
executive secretary held regular office hours from August 1918 till 
the following June. The room is still occupied by the Chapter. 

These were days of much public speaking, there was so much 
that the people needed to know about, and so much that they were 
expected to do, when it had been told to them. The Litchfield War 
Bureau and the Litchfield Grange arranged a patriotic rally for 
February 28, 1918, and Prof. Charles M. Bakewell of Yale Univer- 
sity told us from his personal experiences something of the real 
nature of our enemy. This was one of the finest war talks heard 
in Litchfield, and the occasion Avas also memorable by the dedica- 
tion of the Grange Service flag with its seven stars. 

With our joining the Allies, the display of Old Glory became 
almost universal, and nearly every house carried the colors. As 
our boys departed to help "make the world safe for democracy", 
another flag began to be seen. This, the "service flag", hung in the 
window and indicated by the blue star on the red-bordered white 
field that a member of the household had left it for the country's 
service. More than one house in our town bore a service flag with 
three stars on it. Each church had its flag showing the number of 
its young men who were in the ariny or navy. 

On April 27, 1918, through the generosity of one of our residents, 
the people of Litchfield were given the privilege of hearing the 
soldier-poet, John Masefield, talk on "The War and the Future". 
No one who heard Mr. Masefield will ever forget the quiet way 
in which he gave picture after picture of the war in all its horror, 
and when the tension seemed more than one could bear, lightened 
it with a flash of the characteristic humor of the Tommies. After 
his lecture Mr. Masefield read some of his poems. No admission 
was charged, Mr. Masefield turning over his fee to the Bed Cross. 

A second lecture was given by Mr. Masefield on July 30, under 
the auspices of the Historical Society, for the benefit of the Bed 

A campaign for the sale of War Saving Stamps, beginning 
June 28, 1918, was conducted by Thomas F. Byan, Chairman of 
Litchfield township. A thorough canvass was made and pledges 
were secured from 2,656 adults over 14 years of age, covering pur- 
chases of $8,330 par value of stamps, and minimum pledges of 
$21,395 more during the coming year. The quota of 88 per cent. 


reached in Litchfield was the highest recorded anywhere in the 
state, in respect to the total number of registrations, making Litch- 
field the banner town. 

In order to finish the account of the drives held in Litchfield, 
we will jump to November 1918, and the campaign for funds held 
by the seven war relief agencies, and known as the United War 
Work Campaign. When the Red Cross first asked for $100,000,000 
it seemed as if the high water mark in giving had been set, but the 
seven agencies, combining in one drive, asked for the sum of $250,- 
000,000 to complete their war obligations. The seven agencies were 
the Y. M. C. A., the Y. W. C. A., the Knights of Columbus, the 
Jewish Welfare Association, the War Camp Community Service, 
the American Library' Association and the Salvation Army. In 
spite of the fact that the Armistice had just been signed, with the 
inevitable let-down of enthusiasm for war work, the quota of $11,- 
250 was exceeded; the sum raised amounting to $11,491.45. 

During the preceding summer, Mrs. L. P. Bissell had collected 
by means of a "Crucible", articles and jewelry of gold and silver. 
The contents of the Crucible was sold for the sum of $200 and the 
money given to the War Camp Community Service fund. 

Rev. William J. Brewster was the chairman of the Near-East 
Drive, 1919, the quota was $4,600 and $5,867.33 was subscribed. 

Besides these drives which have been described in detail, num- 
erous lesser drives were held, such as the three membership drives 
of the Red Cross: the two clothing drives for the sufferers in 
Europe; a "Linen Shower" for the French hospitals; a drive for 
associate members for the Boy Scouts ; the same for the Girl Scouts ; 
for the Y. M. C. A. and the Y. W. C. A.; for books and magazines 
for the soldiers; so that scarcely a week passed without an oppor- 
tunity to show one's generosity and patriotism. 

In all that was done to "keep the home fires burning" it must 
be understood that the school children did their full share. Through 
the Junior Red Cross and through the general war work of the 
town, they were brought into direct contact with the great needs of 
the time, and responded as our future citizens should. 

The task of collecting and preserving the history of the Litch- 
field men who served in the great war, will be done by the two posts 
of the American Legion, which have been formed in Bantam and in 
Litchfield. There has not been time since the return of the men 
and the formation of the Posts to do more than make a beginning 
of this work. At the present writing, one of our men, Robert K. 
Munroe, is still with the engineers at Coblenz. 

With the exception of one group of men who sei'ved together 
in the 102nd Infantry the Litchfield boys were scattered through 
the forces, and were in many different branches of the service. 
Lieut. T. A. Langford, in the Marines, was wounded twice and saw 
much heavy fighting. Among those in the aviation section, were 
Allan Trumbull, Alexis Doster, Henry L. Page, James Kirwin, 


Edward P. Heath. Those who served as medical officers were Dr. 
Charles H. Turkington, Dr. Charles I. Page, Jr., Dr. Nelson Lloyd 
Deming, and Dr. John E. Keller. Dr. William Champion Deming, 
a former Litchfield man, also served in the Avar. 

During the summer of 1917 the Selective Draft had been put 
in operation, William T. Marsh serving on the Board. The first 
six men left for Camp Devens at Ayer, Massachusetts, on September 
9. From time to time other groups left, and were wished God- 
speed by those who gathered to see them off, many of whom went with 
the boys to Torrington, where they entrained. The Red Cross saw 
that the men were supplied with knitted comforts and gave them 
a farewell supper before they left. A Smoke Club was organized by 
the business men of the town to supply the boys with tobacco. 

With our men in the training camps, on the high seas, and in 
the trenches, the State Council of Defense made an appeal that 
our celebration of the Fourth in 1918, should be not only "safe and 
sane", but of such a character that all the elements of the com- 
munity would be drawn together in a common observance of the 
day. The committee in charge decided upon an old-fashioned 
picnic, and invited the people of Morris, Goshen and Bethlehem to 
join us. The day started with a fine parade in which many organi- 
zations of the town were represented and a special feature was 
made of the floats, prizes being given for the best. 

After the parade all gathered on the Green, hunted up 
the lost members of their party and settled under the shade of the 
trees to enjoy a picnic lunch. As the people sat together in thi^ 
"folksy" way, the thought of the boys with the colors made an under- 
current of sympathy and neighborliness. 

After the lunch the exercises were held in the West Park, the 
Hon. Porter H. Dale of Vermont making the address. The usual 
Fourth-of-July thunder shower lent a touch of excitement to the 

Of those who went from Litchfield, some had already at this 
time made the supreme sacrifice for their country. There were in 
all ten service flags in our town, which were entitled to change the 
blue star for the gold star of honor. 

The first man to give his life was Howard C. Sherry, who died 
of pneumonia at Camp Johnston, Florida, on January 16, 1918. 
Eobert P. Jeffries died of the same disease on January 20, at Camp 
Gordon, Georgia. A military funeral was held for Howard Sherry 
at the Methodist church, and on the following day. a similar ser- 
vice was held at St. Paul's church in Bantam, where Robert Jef- 
fries had lived. The Home Guard and a delegation from the Red 
Cross attended both services. 

Corporal Frank A. Morgan, Co. M., 102 Reg., was the first man 
to enlist from Litchfield. Twice rejected because of underweight, 
he did not give up, and was able to enter the service when the 
weight limit was lowered. The first to volunteer, Morgan was the 


first man to lay down his life in battle. His mother, Mrs. G-. 
Durancl Merriman received the following letter, giving the circum- 
stances of his death: "Your son, Corporal Frank A. Morgan was 
killed June 20, 1918, near Mandres in the Toul sector. He was 
killed by the concussion of a shell; even though he died instantly, 
there was not a mark on him. . . . When we first went into the line 
he acted as a runner between the platoon and company headquarters 
and did his work so well that I proposed his name to the company 
commander as one to be made corporal at the first opportunity, and 
I am sure that had he lived he would have continued to win promo- 
tions. He is buried in an American Military Cemetery and the 
flag he fought for floats over his grave, while by his side are com- 
rades who with him have paid the supreme price". 

A letter which Corporal Morgan wrote to his mother expresses 
the splendid spirit with which our forces met their baptism of fire. 

"Somewhere in France. 
My dearest beloved Mother: 

Well I have not written to anyone now for a week but it seems 
like a month. We will be in our rest camp in a few days so I'll 
write a nice long letter. Just received three letters from you and 
you know I always love to hear from home and Mother. Also got 
a letter from Chas. I am sitting outside writing this letter and 
several of the fellows are doing the same. It has been a "perfect 
day". Saw some nice flower gardens here and pansy beds. Sum- 
mer comes early. We have also had some nice air raids today. 
One German plane was brought doAvn burning. Air raids are as 
regular as the clocks in most parts of France. But they never 
do any harm. It is pastime for us to lay on the ground and 
watch them dip and duck around in the sky. 

You have probably heard by this time that the 102nd made a 
good showing on the line. We will show the enemy what it is to 
provoke the "Stars and Stripes". Now I can tell you that I've 
been in the first line trenches, face to face with Fritz. The first 
time Ave were in for five days, then we came out for five and went 
in again. The first time we didn't lose a man. But the second 
time we had our first experience with gas. We went in with 
230 men but returned with a fcAV less. Of course we mourn the 
loss of our comrades. But you need not worry about me for I'm 
safe with the company. You know what Sherman said? Well 
you can promise the world I said he was right. You know it will 
mean business this summer. But we want simimer to come any- 
waj' and have it over. I Avould like to be sitting under the old 
apple tree this simimer, but I will next year believe me. You tell 
everybody I say this is Fritz's last try and it is bound to fail. . . . 
Glad you are all well and happy and there's no reason w^hy you 
shouldn't be for I am. 

Well I can't write much more as it is getting late, lights out 
at nine o'clock. And whatever you do don't worry about me. May 


God protect me till we meet again for I'm sure we will. Write 
soon and often to your loving son, 


Thomas F. Weir and his brother James were privates in the 
same regiment, the 102nd. Thomas Weir gives the following 
account of the action in which his brother was killed: "At the 
start of the Chateau Thierry drive they went over the top at 5:30 
A. M. and went into woods the other side of the starting position. 
They relieved the Marines, with Marines on left and French on 
right; the position was in a horse shoe. The company went ahead 
and had to wait for the French. They went back and went ahead 
again without barrage. Co. H. was in the 2nd batallion. Enemy 
artillery fire was very heavy, 2nd battalion in support, 3rd battalion 
ahead and 1st in reserve. The company was in open field kneeling 
down in close formation, a German big shell came over and landed 
200 yards away. A piece landed beside the two Weir boys and 
hit James between the eyes. Eoy Hotchkiss helped to carry out 
and bandage James, who was taken to the 103rd Field Hospital at 
La Ferte and buried there". 

In a letter written by James Weir to the Smoke Club, he 
shows that he too had that "old Kew England spirit all rigit". 

"Co. H., 102nd U. S. Inf. 
March 29, 1918. 

Smoke Club of Litchfield: 

As I have a fcAV minutes I want to write and thank the people 
of Litchfield for their smokes, as I must say they are more than 
appreciated. I don't know what I would have done without them, 
not only the cigarettes, but the Enquirer also. 

I am glad to be able to say we have been in the trenches for 
a long time and you can tell all the boys I will be home for that 
Labor Day parade, as the boys are all in trim and ready for any- 
thing that comes up. They have that old New England spirit all 
right. This is said to be the best regiment in France, bar none. 
Not so bad for the boys from Connecticut. We are all feeling fine 
and waiting patiently for a shot at the Kaiser, and not a bit afraid 
of their old Springflelds, when they say we are doing our bit, too. 
It is rather a ticklish job, but the boys don't mind it in the least. 

You can imagine the shrapnel bursting over head and big shells 
whizzing on all sides of us. We just laugh and watch to see if 
we can see them going through the air. We have had many close 
calls. One old six inch shell dropped about four feet from me, 
but it was my luck it was dead and didn't go off, so I made up my 
mind I was going home when it didn't get me that time. . . . 

The boys from home are all fine — Tom and Matt Brennan, Matt 
Hotchkiss, Howard Brown and all the rest of the boys. Trusting 
all my Litchfield friends are in the best of health and thanking 
vou again for the cigarettes, I remain as ever, 



Private August Guinchi of the Coast Artillery 56tli Regiment 
died of typhoid fever on October 31, 1918, resulting from the effects 
of gas. Private Guinchi was gassed while driving a tank. He is 
buried in the American Battle Area Cemetery at Langres, Depart- 
ment of Haute-Marne. 

Another victim of disease, Clayton A. Devines, died of Spanish 
Influenza in camp at Jacksonville, Florida. A memorial service 
was held at the Congregational church on December 1, 1918. 

Joseph Donohue Avas a Junior Republic boy who served with 
the 102nd, Co. D., and was killed in action on July 23, 1918. 

Roy E. Cornwell who died on shipboard en route to France, 
had lived in Litchfield for some time and had been a member of 
the Home Guard. He enlisted from Elizaville, N. Y., the home 
of his father, but as he had been so identified with Litchfield he is 
included in our list of those who lost their lives in the war. 

Henry Cattey was a Xorthfield boy, who lived in the Marsh 
district. He was killed in action, but it has not been possible to 
obtain details of his death. 

Pio Zavotti, like August Guinchi, an Italian, but an American 
when his adopted country needed him, is supposed to have been 
killed in action. He had lived in Litchfield for several years and 
worked at the Rijjley farm, and gave Litchfield as his address 
when he went into the army. 

About fifty former citizens of the Junior Republic were with 
the American Expeditionary Forces. Those who died in action 
and are not included in the ten from Litchfield, as they had their 
homes elsewhere, are: Timothy O'Connor, Xornian Stein, and 
Roger Wilson. Lieutenant Timothy O'Connor, Co. M., 108th 
Infantry, had many friends in Litchfield who will be proud of 
the gallantry of his death. He was cited for bravery, in the fol- 
lowing words: "2nd Lieut. Timothy O'Connor (deceased) for great 
personal courage and inspiring qualities of leadership while in 
command of his company. Even after being mortally wounded, 
this ofi'icer's last words were for the men to continue their attack. 
This was in the battle of La Salle River, France, October 17, 1918". 

We have now to record the honors earned by one of our men, 
who, happily, recovered from his wounds. Lieut. Joseph R. Busk 
was cited on June 20, 1918, in these words: "The following action 
of 2nd Lieut. J. R. Busk, Inf. R. A. 38th Infantry, is mentioned as 
deserving particular commendation as showing the determined effort 
of this officer to accomplish at all hazards a mission on which he 
had been sent: On the night of June 16-17, 1918, this officer was 
designated to cross the Marne River with a patrol for the purpose 
of capturing and bringing back a prisoner, by surprising any of 
the enemy who were moving; he had not accomplished the mission 
after having waited until almost daylight; when he boldly entered a 
wood supposed to be occupied by the enemy, where he encountered a 
hostile detachment which fired on his patrol and severely wounded 


him". Lieut. Busk was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross 
for "Extraordinary heroism in action east of Chateau Thierry, 
France, June 17, 1918. Despite the coldness of the water, the 
swiftness of the current, and the presence of the enemy on the 
opposite bank, Lieut. Busk completed a personal reconnaissance of 
the enemy's position by swimming the Kiver Marne, after which 
he took a patrol across the river in boats and obtained valuable 
information regarding the movements of the enemy". 

Lieut. Busk was further honored by King Albert I, of Belgium, 
who conferred upon him the Ordre de la Couronne, with the rank 
of "chevalier". 

Charles A. Whitbeck, a driver in Bat. D., 12th Field Artillery, 
2nd Div., saw 21 months 15 days of active seiwice and was in most 
of the engagements at Chateau Thierry, Soissons, Champagne, St. 
Mihiel and the Meuse-Argonne. Whitbeck was with the army 
of occupation which marched into Germany, and spent the winter 
there. At Soissons on July 21, 1918, Battery D. Avas between the 
2nd and 3rd line backing up the French, 1st Moroccan Division. 
The position was on low ground and was observed by the Germans 
from a high hill. A big barrage was placed on the battery and 
they had to retire, leaving the guns. Volunteers Avere asked for, 
two cannoneers and tAvo di*iA'ers, including Whitbeck, Avere chosen. 
The IMajor of the battalion led them in, and one piece and caisson 
were rescued. 

On May 27, 1919, Whitbeck received the Croix de Guerre with 
silver star. The citation, translated into English, is as foUoAvs: 
"Upon the approval of the Commander-in-Chief of the American 
Expeditionary Forces in France, the Marshal of France, Com- 
mander-in-Chief of the Armies of the East, recommends by order 
of the Division : Private Charles A. Whitbeck, Battery D, 12th Field 
Artillery, 2nd Division: On July 21, 1918, near Vierzy, in the face 
of a violent bombardment, he attached a gun-limber to a disabled 
field-piece, so that this field-piece could be draAvn to the rear". 

James KirAvin, Avho enlisted in the regular army and was 
assigned to the 126th Aero Supply Squadron, Avas on the Tuscania 
when she Avas torpedoed. For some time it was not known in Litch- 
field that he Avas among the surA^ivors. Sergt. KirAvin giA^es this account 
of his experience: "The morning of February 5, the order for life 
belts was given. At the time the convoy was in the North Chan- 
nel off the Irish coast, the position of the Tuscania was central, 
the other ships forming a circle around her. About 5:30 the order 
came, 'troops up on D deck'. At 5:30 there Avas a terrible shock, 
not so much of an explosion, as of a dull bloAV. The ship seemed 
to jump high in the air, and hang there quivering for a time before 
it fell back into the Avater, where it bobbed about very much like 
a cork and Avith a decided list to starboard. The lights went out 
at the time of the explosion and the darkness seemed shot with 
tongues of fire. The atmosphere seemed dense Avith a strong odor 


like that of burniug celluloid. I liad been assigned to No, 9 boat, 
but when 1 reached that station I found both 7 and 9 stations 
had been blown away, as the torpedo struck directly beneath them. 
"Everyone answered a call for volunteers to launch boats. The 
men were taken off 7 and 9 stations and for the next two hours 
were on the hurricane deck, launching the boats, the last of which 
that could be cast off were lowered at 8:15; and there were still 
one thousand men on board. 

"The water was full of men, some swimming, but many of them 
dead or dying. We had about resigned ourselves to going down 
with the ship, the men were singing, 'Where do we go from here, 
boys', when word was passed to go down on B deck. Of course 
we hurried more than is usual in the army. Three destroyers 
had returned and had taken off everyone except those who had been 
on the boat deck. The cry was 'slide down the rope and keep 
your eyes up'. After I reached the destroyer I looked over the 
side and saw those who didn't make her. I shall always be sorry 
I didn't obey orders". 

Kirwin was landed at Buncrana Island, Ireland, suffering with 
concussion and was cared for by the British troops stationed there. 
It is not possible to give an account of the other Litchfield men 
who saw active service overseas. George H. Hunt, the Town Clerk, 
has recorded all the discharge papers which have been turned in to 
him, but those on file represent only a small part of the number 
who went from Litchfield, and the work of the Post Historians has 
only just beg-un. 

During those terrible years before we Avent into the war, when 
America Avas pouring our her wealth to help suffering Europe, her 
young men and Avomen Avere seeking opportunities for personal ser- 
vice in the hospitals and in the camps of the Allies. 

Three of our Litchfield men did ambulance work in France, 
afterwards serving in the A. E. F.: Guy H. Eichards AAdth the 
American Ambulance Service; Elmore McNeill Bostwick and Fred- 
erick W. Busk Avith the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Section No. 5, 
Avhich Avas decoi-ated by the French Government. 

Eejected on physical grounds by the U. S. A., du Val Allen 
joined the Norton-Harjes Ambulance Section No. 646, Avhich was 
attached to the famous French "Blue Devils" and to the Moroccan 
Division. Allen Avas hit on the head by a piece of shell and 
rendered unconscious for several hours, contracting pno'unonia fwmi 
the exposure, and also narroAvly escaped death in a bombed hos- 
pital. Section No. 646 AA-as honored four times by the French 
Government, receiving the Croix de Guerre and the Medaille Mili- 

Shepherd Knapp, formerly of Litchfield, noAv a clergyman at 
Worcester, Mass., spent a year in France under the Y. M. C. A., for 
six months of this time being stationed at Aix-les-Bains, the famous 


resort, which was turned into a "rest-place" for the American 
troops, and re-christened by the men, "Aches and Pains". 

Archibald M. Richards also gave his services to the Y. M. C. A. 
and was stationed at Paris for over a year, as assistant manager 
of the hotel run by the "Y" for its secretaries. 

In 1916, Willard Parker Lindley spent several months in France 
assisting the work for blinded soldiers, under Miss Winifred Holt. 

The Litchfield women who served in the war, enlisted under 
our own Government, were Marion Crutch and Elsie Koser, army 
nurses; Mildred McNeill, reconstruction aid; and Irene Crutch, Mae 
Brahen, Clare Brennan and Evelyn Deacon, yeowomen. Elizabeth W, 
McNeill was employed as a Civil Service stenographer in the Army. 

The women who did war work overseas were: Cecil Cunning- 
ham (now Mrs. Alexis Doster), who served for six months as an 
auxiliary nurse in the French hospitals; and Amy Eichardson 
Thurston and Frances Elliot Hickox, who were Y. M. C. A. canteen 
workers, their duties including many activities from scrub woman 
in the kitchen to cashier in the hut. Miss Hickox remained in 
France until after the Armistice, and chaperoned a group of brides, 
who had been married to American soldiers, on her return trip 
to this country. 

The false report on November 7, 1918 that the Germans had 
signed the Armistice, which caused so many premature celebrations 
all over the country, did not gain credit in Litchfield, thanks to 
the editor of the Litchfield Enquirer, who pinned his faith to the 
Associated Press. At three o'clock on the morning of November 
11, the Torrington factory whistles were heard blowing, and the 
news quickly spread that "Der Tag" had come at last. The Court 
House bell gave the local signal and soon all the church bells 
joined in, ringing out the tidings in a perfect medley of noise. 

The firemen manned the chemical engine, and started out on a 
procession all over the Borough, a crowd quickly gathered, and 
soon about 200 men, women and children were in line, headed by 
the Stars and Stripes. They marched down South Street, and at 
the invitation of the rector, Mr. Brewster, into St. Michael's church, 
where the people with deep emotion, sang together the Doxology and 
the national anthem, and gave thanks with grateful hearts that the 
long terrible years of conflict were ended at last. 

Out again on the Green, a bonfire was built, and while it was 
burning brightly impromptu speeches were made. The day dawned, 
soft and mellow, as a November day sometimes is. About seven 
o'clock there was a little let up for breakfast, but the bells never quite 
ceased ringing. The dignified village of Litchfield had a dishevelled 
look on that morning, very unlike its usual trim appearance. 
Papers, confetti, the remnants of the bonfire littered the center and 
plainly showed that the town had been up all night celebrating. 

Refreshed by breakfast, every one who could get there, hastened 


to BaBtam to join tlie parade. A band, provided by tlie forethought 
of W. S. Eogers led the procession, which included about sixty 
automobiles. Another pause came for the noon-day meal, then 
came the Litchfield parade, in which Bantam joined. The marchers 
were headed by Frank H. Turkington, and the Home Guard, the 
D. A. E., the Bed Cross, the fire departments, the Boy Scouts and 
the Girl Scouts, the service flag of St. Anthony's carried by young 
women, and many automobiles were in line, a coffin dedicated to 
the Kaiser was a special feature. 

Litchfield's enthusiasm did not spend itself with these demon- 
strations, but finished the day with a patriotic "sing" on the Green 
in the evening, patriotic speeches and an appeal for the United War 
Work Campaign, which was then in progress. 

The Armistice was signed, but we soon found that we must 
"carry on" a while longer. Bed Cross work was revised to meet the 
needs of the destitute people of Europe, and, rejoicing that surgical 
dressings were no longer necessary, the workers put their energies 
into the making of refugee garments and refugee knitting. The Home 
Service Section, under Dr. John L. Buel, was to continue its 
work until the very last man had solved his difficulties and been 
re-adjusted to civilian life again. 

Week after Aveek, some khaki-clad man would appear in the 
streets, to be surrounded at once by people anxious to shake his 
hand, and to compliment him on his splendid physical condition. 
Celebrations occurred, quite spontaneous in character, in the form 
of bonfires and bell ringings, as the men returned from overseas. 
It was felt that these individual celebrations were not enough, and 
that the whole town should join in welcoming home the men, and 
in some permanent form express its appreciation for their services 
in the war. Accordingly the chairman of the War Bureau, George 
C. Woodruff, appointed a committee to make plans for such a 
ceremony, and for a permanent memorial to our men. 

It was decided to celebrate the coming Fourth of July as "Wel- 
come Home Day" and to erect a monument on the Green, bearing on 
a bronze tablet the names of those who served in the war. 

The celebration really began with the bonfire in the center, on 
the 3rd of July, at midnight, following a custom which dates back 
more than half a century. ^Vhen the morning of the Fourth came, 
it proved to be one of those days of which Litchfield is occasionally 
guilty, when the temperature registers in the nineties; but because 
the day was given over to honoring those who had endured so much, 
eveiyone felt ashamed to complain of mere weather. 

The great feature of the day was the parade, which was headed 
by First Selectman Patrick C. Burke, Warden George C. Ives, Bur- 
gesses Charles Biglow, Dr. C. N. Warner and W. S. Plumb in an 
automobile. The veterans of the Civil War followed. Then came 

Dr. John Laidlaw Buel 




Major Eobert F. Jackson, Marshall, and his aids, preceding the 
men in khaki, whom we were honoring. They were 80 strong, and 
represented both army and navy. The Boy Scouts aeted as escort. 
Then followed delegations and floats from all the local organi- 
zations; the Eed Cross, the Knights of Cohimbus, St. Anthony's 
T. A. & B., the Fire Department, the Orange, and many others. 

After the parade came the picnic lunch under the trees, follow- 
ing the plan of the previous year. The soldiers were provided with 
an ample lunch in the West Park. 

In the early afternoon the program of the day was given, with 
Admiral Colvocoresses presiding. Mrs. E. H. Sothern recited with 
deep feeling the splendid words of the Battle Hymn of the Eepublic, 
and the address was made by Dr. Talcott Williams, Dean of the 
Columbia School of Journalism. The great moment of the day 
came when the Memorial Monument was unveiled. Instead of a 
formal speech of dedication, E. H. Sothern read Alan Seeger's Ode 
to American soldiers fallen in France, which had been written for 
the celebration of our Fourth by the city of Paris in 1916, by which 
time the poet had already added his life to those he commemorated. 
The American flag was taken from the monument by the selectmen 
in reverent silence, followed by a prayer of dedication by Dr. H. G. 
Mendenhall. The ceremony was concluded by the singing of America. 

The monument which is erected on the center Green, diagonally 
across from the Court House, is of granite, six feet high; and bears 
a bronze tablet 45 by 35 inches, with 168 names, ten with the gold 
star of supreme sacrifice. Above the names is this inscription: 

'*In Honor of 

The Men of Litchfield 

Who Eendered Service In 

The World War 


Below the names : "This Tablet is erected by the Town of Litchfield". 

The home coming celebration closed with a dance for the sol- 
diers in the Lawn Club. 

Two Posts of the American Legion, which is an organization of 
veterans of the World War, have been formed in our town: the 
Morgan-Weir Post named in honor of the first two men to be killed 
in action, and in Bantam, a post named in honor of Eobert P. 

The story of our town during these years of war, may fittingly 
close with mention of the ceremonies held on Washington's Birth- 
day, 1920, at Colonial Hall, under the auspices of the Morgan-Weir 
Post, for the distribution of Certificates issued by the French Grov- 
ernment to the families of those Americans who died in the war. 


On the certificates is an engraving of the monument erected by the 
French to the memory of our dead. Inscribed on the monument 
are the words of Victor Hugo : 

"For those who devoutly died for their country 

It is right that the people come and pray at their tombs", 

and it was in a spirit of devotion and reverence that the people 
of Litchfield gathered together for this service in their memory. 



A subscriber to Punch once wrote in complaint to the editor, 
"Punch is not what it once was". "My dear fellow", the editor 
replied, "it never has been". The story is a consolation to the 
writer of modern history. Forms of life are forever changing, the 
forces of life remain much the same, and persist with amazing 
vigor through periods of dearth and disaster. 

Litchfield's position in the life of the nation has greatly changed 
since the days of the Eevolution. The development of the manu- 
facturing industries of the East, the opening up of the resources of 
the West, have shifted the centres of national activity. Yet the 
town is in no sense the empty shell of past tradition. It is a 
vigorous self-respecting community, making a worthy contribution 
to the continuity and strength of American character. In common 
with most other American towns, it has changed in the past sixty 
years from a homogeneous community, in which the dominant factor 
was Anglo-Saxon, to a conmiunity in which nearly every nation of 
Europe and some of Asia are represented. In this fact are both 
opportunity and danger. In so far as the little towns can assimilate 
the foreign elements of their population, and maintain wholesome 
American traditions and standards of living, so far will the nation 
grow in unity and strengtli. 

The recent war has shown us beyond doubt that the American 
"melting pot" does not always melt. But it has also shown us 
how strong and how sincere have been the pledges of loyalty given 
by innumerable adopted sons. It remains for the native born to 
keep alive and bright his altar fires, that the immigrant may know 
at what shrine he worships. 

In times of national crisis, national ideals and the good and 
evil forces of national life appear clear cut and vivid. In the 
years of peace the greater issues are hidden in the pleasant haze of 
a fruitful summer; but it is in the slow process of these years that 
the national character takes shape for good or ill. 

What of Litchfield in the long years of peace following the 
Civil War? It is too soon to estimate the lasting qualities of those 
years; but in the brief survey possible here, we may gain 
some understanding of the character of the people and the dominant 


elements of the coimnuiiity life. These elements for the past sixty 
years may be roughly divided under five heads: The physical char- 
acter and climate of the region; the agricultural interest; the sum- 
mer colony; the nineteenth centuiy immigrant; and the growth of 
community spirit. 

The influence of climate on national character is too intricate 
a subject to be discussed here. Its influence on the occupation and 
resources of Litchfield people is evident throughout their history. 
It does not seem to have changed much during the period of which 
we write. In the records of the local papers every third or fourth 
winter is a winter of intense cold and heavy snows. On occasion 
there are tumultuous freshets in the spring and autumn, carrying 
away roads and bridges and flooding low lying meadows. In the 
sunmier there are violent thunder storms, with curious electrical 
freaks and an aftermath of burning bams. Between these cata- 
clysms of nature stretch long days of golden beauty. The beauty 
of the country, the clear freshness of the upland air, have attracted 
to Litchfield the svmimer visitors, who have contributed much to the 
material prosperity of the town and not a little to the richness 
of its tradition. As Dr. Bostwick has jjointed out, Litchfield 
has been peculiarly fortunate in having as summer residents peo- 
ple who were already attached to her by natural ties of inheritance 
or sentiment. 

It is of course the physical character and climate also, which 
detennine the agricultural interests of the conununity and the 
direction they take. These interests are on the whole the most 
stable in the community life, and while the farms have frequently 
changed hands and markets have shifted, agriculture still remains 
the dominant interest of the town. Immediately after the war 
there existed a flourishing Agricultural Society, and a horse show 
and fairs were held on the ground at the lower end of South Street. 
In 1889, the Grange was founded, and has ever since been a source 
of education to the community as well as a natural centre of social 
enjoyment for people engaged in kindred pursuits. The Harvest 
Festivals of the last twenty years, with their exhibits of fruit and 
flowers, and the prizes offered to children in the schools for the 
best arrangement of wild flowers, have all contributed to the benefit 
of the community; and the masquerades and dramatics have 
increased good fellowship. 

Besides the nimierous small farms in the township, there have 
been a number of large enterprises, backed by considerable capital 
and able to experiment with thoroughbred stock and scientific horti- 
culture. The first of these was Echo Farm, on Chestnut Hill, 
bought by F. Eatchford Starr in 1873 and developed as a dairy 
farm with thoroughbred Alderney and Jersey cattle. Starr was 
the first man to introduce into America the bottling of milk for 
shipment and distribution. There were shipping stations at Ban- 
tam and Lake, as well as at Litchfield; and in 1881, four thousand 


quarts were shipped daily from these three stations. In 1886 the man- 
agement of this fann was placed in the hands of The Echo Farm 
Company. It was later abandoned and in 1910 was bought by 
H. S. Chase, of Waterbury, and now furnishes the Chase KoUing 
Mills in that town with milk for their operatives. Other large 
farms have in the i)ast twenty years made a specialty of choice 
fruit and vegetables or thoroughbred cattle. The sight of Dr. 
Buel's Eed Devon bull going to the Danbury fair is one not easily 
forgotten; and it is not long since North Street was familiar with 
the sight of four little girls, each mounted on a Welsh pony of the 
Fernwood breed, followed by a groom and the smallest of possible 

Despite the advent of the automobile, there have always been 
in Litchfield lovers of horses; but in the eighties and nineties 
horses were a ruling passion. Trotting races with sleighs on 
North Street were popular in the winter, and in the heyday of the 
summer season there was a fashionable driving hour from four until 
seven in the afternoon. Favorite drives in the eighties were to 
the towers on Mohawk and Ivy Mountains, from which there were 
beautiful views. Here cabins had been built with historical relics to 
attract the curious, and refreshments were on sale for hungry 
youth. The Enquirer gives us a list of the stables kept in 1891; 
from which we quote: 

J. Deming Perkins 
"The Lindens" — Mrs. Perkins' health does not permit her often to avail 
of the facilities which the stables at this place possess, but her daughter 
Miss Edith, thoroughly enjoys driving her pair of brown cobs, "Derby" and 
"Ascot", which she handles with perfect skill, before her Brewster cart. We 
noticed a brown roadster "Barney", in one of the commodious stalls. 
Livery, dark blue, drab and silver. The stables at this place are most 
conveniently arranged, being finished in Georgia pine and black walnut. 
Peter Matthews has charge of the establishment. A straw mat made 
by the dexterous fingers of Peter, with a border representing the national 
colors stretches across the stable immediately in the rear of the iron lat- 
ticed stalls, the turned locust posts being finished with "pelicans" in Old 
Country style. 

Sydney Dillon 
President Union Pacific Road, "Vaill Cottage" — Mr. Dillon of late years 
has become so attached to Litchfield that he gives a large portion of his 
summer to it. He is fond of a good horse, and we notice likes to drive 
a different pair each day. Sometimes it is his large team of dapple grays, 
with their fine knee action ; again he will be seen with his coal black pair, 
with their splendid flowing tails, the animals alike as two peas, and not 
infrequently with his light stepping cross match, a black and bay. Livery, 
dark blue and silver. 

J. Mason Hoppin 
New Haven — We can scarcely remember ever having seen Mason Hop- 
pin on foot except on the occasion when he covered himself with glory in 
the baseball match between the married and single men. Not only morning 


and afternoon, but also in the evening he is on the drive with some one of his 
three horses. He is seen on the road rigged either single, double or tandem, 
but he is in best form when driving his dapple grays, "Dick" and "Tim", 
to his Brewster bugg}'. Peter Scanlan attends to details here. 
J. Warren Groddard 
New York, "Fernwood" — This stable, the building itself of granite and 
a model of convenience, contains a large number and variety of fine car- 
riages and horses, perhaps the most stylish turnout among them being Mr. 
Goddard's dog cart, hung very high, to which he drives his tandem team, 
"Paris" with "Vim" in the lead, and trained to work there, with which he 
easily rattles off eight miles an hour over the hills. Mourning livery. 
Henry W. Buel, M. D. 
Spring Hill — The doctor for many years has raised his own driving 
horses, which he has rare facilities for doing on the extensive acres which 
comprise his estate. Individually he works his favorite yellow bay. His 
daughters, however, drive to a neat phaeton some one or other of the 
numerous fine animals in the stables. Frederick Trail has for many years 
had control of the stables. 

Mrs. John H. Hubbard 
This lady, the widow of our late Congressman, can be seen of a pleasant 
afternoon on our thoroughfares driving a quiet bay. Her son, John T., the 
lawyer, indulges his taste for horseflesh in the line of the Morgan breed, of 
which he possesses several fine specimens of growing stock. 
Archibald B. Duffie 
New York — Mr. Duffie, who is exceedingly fond of horseflesh, has 
quartered at Pratt's stable, in charge of Jim Malloy, four magnificent ani- 
mals — a pair of dark bays, a blooded Kentuckian and a sorrel. His stylish 
turnouts are almost daily seen on our thoroughfares. 
I*7ewcomb C. Barney 
New York, "Uplands" — So fine a place as this must needs have a good 
stable. Mrs. Barney's carriage is not often seen in the village, but Miss 
Barney's neat cart is a daily ornament on the grounds of the Lawn Club. 
Livery, blue and silver.. 

Mrs. Henry B. Coit 
Since the removal of her son, Mr. Chas. H. Coit, to Hartford, where he 
has entered the firm of Geo. P. Bissell & Co., we have missed him upon 
our roads. His sister. Miss Katie, however, thoroughly enjoys a drive 
behind her favorite bay. 

Mrs. J. William Wheeler 
New York, "Belair" — Park phaeton, mahogany bays. Miss Wheeler 
drives a pony (rumble) phaeton, drawn by a handsome sorrel pony. Mourn- 
ing livery. 

Henry E. Jones 
Brooklyn, N. Y., "Sunnymead"— A pair of dark bays with flowing tails 
to a light summer carriage. Mr. Jones, however, is most frequently seen 
driving in his favorite natural wood buckboard, to which he works a most 
serviceable roadster. 


■•■1 :- 

1 ^ 
1 fe 

! < 


Mrs. William H. Maxwell 

New York, "Kenmore" — Mrs. Maxwell's stables contain several horses, 
but her favorite pair is a cross match, a bay and a gray. 

Frederick Deiuing 

At this place we found a steady-going family horse, and also a good- 
grained saddle pony, on which his son takes daily exercise. 

Mrs. William Curtis Noyes 

New York — Mrs. Noyes is very regular in her drives, seldom omitting 
an afternoon. Her daughter, Mrs. Vanderpoel, is occasionally seen in a 
high dog cart. Livery, blue and silver. 

The Misses Van Wiiikle 

New York — Very stylish Victoria, yellow bay cobs. Livery, blue and 

The above list by no means comprises all the pleasure equipments of 
the village, for we should have mentioned Mrs. Chas. Burrell's splendid bay, 
which, when before her stylish phaeton, equals any of the above named ; then 
there is Miss Clarissa Pratt, with her black pony "Bucephalus" and Brewster 
buggy; Miss Clara Kenney, with her white pony and phaeton, and Mr. 
Jesse L, Judd, now one of our retired business men, with his large bay 
horse and carriage, and Mr. Chas. B. Bishop and Warden Marshy each of 
whom may be seen on our driveways almost any day. 

The livery business of the town is mostly done by Pratt's stables, which 
work seventy-three horses in the livery department, aside from the extensive 
sale stables attached, and Barber Bros., whose stables, though not so extensive, 
yield to none in quality of stock. 

There were at one time three hotels in the borough and numer- 
ous boarding houses, which Avere well filled. Coaching parties 
frequently drove through, and the town must have worn an air of 
holiday-making, both gay and charming. 

It is pleasant to think of the Victorian ladies of the sixties and 
seventies who played croquet or practiced archery in East Park, 
or in the eighties watched the four young gallants, who inspired by 
Mason Hoppin, endeavored to graft polo on the American stock. 
Canoeing also came in at this period; lawn tennis was played on 
private courts and a club was projected, which later developed into 
the Lawn Club on West Street, for many years the scene of tennis 
tournaments for the Connecticut state championship. 

It is interesting to note the changing fashion in amusements 
and outdoor sports. The first velocipede came in 1869, but the 
bicycle fever did not reach its height until the nineties. In 1893, 
E. G. Trowbridge, of Torrington, is said to have ridden three hun- 
dred miles by bicycle in two days. In 1896, there were two hun- 
dred bicycles owned in Litchfield and in the following year a bicycle 
club was formed. Baseball of course was always popular among 
all the elements of the community, though it could not have been 
a fine art in the latter sixties, as in 1866, we find recorded a game 
in which the score was 77 to 16. In 1870, there existed a Tar and 
Gamboge Baseball Club of which four members were colored and 
there were at various times numerous teams in the town together 


with many unorganized aspirants, so that we find in the papers 
many complaints of ball playing on the green. 

The winter also was not without its amusements. In the seven- 
ties, they were less sophisticated than those of a later period. 
Spelling matches were much in vogue among the older people as 
well as the young ones and there were even competitions between 
towns. It is particularly interesting to discover that in 1883, 
roller skating was the popular amusement. Armory Hall was 
used as a rink and fancy skaters came to perform there. In 1886, 
a Toboggan Club was established by some of the young people of 
the town and a slide was built on Prospect Hill. The young people 
of outlying towns as far away as Woodbury shared in this sport. 
On one occasion, a fete was held at the slide with rockets, bombs, 
torches and Chinese lanterns, and supper was afterwards served 
at Armory Hall. Sleighing and ice skating were always popular 
when the season served and at various times hockey teams were 
organized which practiced on the Mill Pond and occasionally played 
matches with other organizations from neighboring towiis. Skiing 
and snow-shoeing have also had their devotees and have sometimes 
been necessary by virtue of the severe weather. One of the most 
remarkable trips on snow shoes taken by a Litchfield man was that 
of Alex Baldwin in the blizzard of February, 1902. He came by train 
from Hartford to Terryville, on snow shoes from Terryville to Thom- 
aston, by train to East Litchfield and on snow-shoes home. 

Fishing and hunting are always open in season to the country- 
dweller. Football has held intermittent sway but has never claimed 
great popularity in Litchfield. In the early nineties, a hare and 
hound club was organized and herein was heralded the coming 
of the new woman, for "the young ladies adopted a dress which 
made it possible for them to cross streams and climb fences". The 
runs of the club Avere sometimes as much as eight miles. In the 
latter nineties, golf came in and has continued with varying popu- 
larity, to the present day. "Paper Chases" on horse-back were also 
popular for a brief period, in the last decade. There has always 
been much sociability and many clubs of various sorts have sprung 
into existence. Among these the Sanctum on South Street holds 
a distinctive place. In the nineties there was an extremely active 
and clever Dramatic Club, and an excellent minstrel troupe. Other 
dramatic entertaiimients have centered in the Grange, in societies 
of the various Churches and in sporadic benefit performances for 
some general interest of the moment. It is a study in modes and 
manners to look over the programs. In these days of "Jazz", we 
may sigh for the halcyon days of Pinafore; but "Curfew shall not 
ring tonight" is a world well lost. There were also at one time a 
drum corps and a band, and much interchange of hospitality with 
similar organizations in other towns. The singing club concerts 
conducted by Mr. Arthur Woodniff of Washington, in which Wash- 
ington and Litchfield have united in giving concerts, have been 


unique and popular entertainments for fifteen years. Dancing we 
have always had with us. It has passed through many phases from 
the waltz mania of the seventies, through the "Germans" of the 
eighties, the two-steps of the nineties, the fox-trots of the tAventieth 
century. Nor has the town been wholly dependent upon its own 
resources for entertaimnent. Traveling circuses have set up their 
tents on the ball ground, and traveling troupes and shows have been 
until recently frequent visitors at Phelps' Opera House or Armory 
Hall. Now the ubiquitous "movie" has replaced them, both in 
Litchfield and Bantam. 

Bantam brings us at once to the new element in Litchfield's 
development. It is the groAvth of the manufacturing industry there 
that has added so much in recent years to the foreign population 
of the township, though the Irish were, of course, the first of the 
"nineteenth century immigrants" to come to Litchfield in any large 
numbers. The building of St. Anthony's Church in 1867 shows that 
they were by that time a well established part of the communitj^ 
From that time on, in their growing prosperity in trade, in the fairs 
for the churcli, their minstrel shows and St. Patrick's Day dances, 
they have made their definite contribution to the community life. 
In 1898, a minstrel joke was current in the town. "Where was 
Litchfield a hundred years ago? In Ireland, the greater part of 
it". In 1879 a gang of Italian laborers was employed on the 
Goddard farm, and about ten years later others came to work on 
the new water system. Whether or not any of these men remained 
as permanent residents, this was the beginning of further changes 
in the population of the town. There are now many Italians in 
Litchfield, contractors, laborers and operatives; and of late a num- 
ber of Slavs have come to work in the factories at Bantam and 
in some cases on farms. There have been for many years several 
families of German and Scandinavian origin; the first Chinaman 
appeared in 1877; and there are now several Greeks. So much for 
the typical New England community of the twentieth century. 

Dr. Bostwick has spoken of the growth of community feeling and 
public spirit in the last half century. It is interesting to trace 
it in its various manifestations. 

It is natural that one of the first community enterprises after 
the Civil War should have been the plan to erect a suitable memorial 
to the dead. This monument, referred to in Chapter 21, was erected 
on the green in 1874. In 1894 a soldiers' monument was also erected 
in the West Cemetery, and later a granite "marker" was set up on 
ChestJHit Hill to mark the site of Camp Diitton, where the men 
encamped before leaving for the scene of war. For many years the 
Seth F. Plumb Post of the Grand Army held festivals on the anni- 
versary of Lee's surrender and suitable ceremonies on Memorial Dnj. 
As their numbers decreased the reunions on "Appomatox Day" were 
abandoned; and while they continued to keep Memorial Day, it was 
perhaps natural, that to the general public it should become merely 


another holiday, so that in the same year in which the monument 
was erected in West Cemetery an entertainment was given on this 
day at which a farce was presented. About twenty years later a 
di£ferent feeling arose, and a Memorial Day Association was formed 
to plan suitable ceremonies for the day, which has recently regained 
its old significance. 

One of the earliest enterprises after the war was the Shepaug 
Valley Eailroad. The charter was applied for in 1866, and the Town 
in 1868 subscribed for a block of the stock. In 1872 trains were 
running, but were discontinued for repairs in March. The time- 
table at this period scheduled trains to leave Litchfield at 8:30 and 
arrive at Hawleyville at 11:30, at which point they connected with 
the liousatonic Eailroad. The length of the journey, how- 
ever, does not seem to have disturbed the patrons of the new 
road, for in 1879 excursions to Coney Island by boat from Bridge- 
port were popular. In these days of motors the glory of the rail- 
roads has faded, but in 1894 the "parlor car" run for the summer 
passenger service, is glowingly described in the Enquirer. Its 
woodwork was of quartered oak, its upholstery a "beautiful light 
blue". Litchfield never knew the intermediate stage of rapid 
transit between the steam railroad and the automobile. Agitation 
for a trolley connection from Torrington or the towns further south 
to Bantam Lake occurred frequently; but the project was always 
defeated. With the coming of the cheap automobile we are made 
safe from such an invasion. 

The telegraph came to Litchfield permanently in the seventies, 
the telephone in the eighties. The part the latter has played in 
knitting the community together is a large one. Not only has it 
made easy the neighborly visits by telephone which are possible in 
a rural community where wires are not perpetually busy; but it 
has made us increasingly conscious of ourselves as units in a group. 

Of other public improvements, Dr. Bostwick has also spoken; 
the increased tidiness of the village, the labors of the Village 
Improvement Society for good walks, drainage and lighting. All 
these things were in good time attained through the efforts of public 
spirited people. 

Schools have always held an important place in Litchfield life. 
A number of successful private institutions have existed here, but 
in a community of this size and character the chief interest must 
and should centre in the public schools. The improvement of the 
school system was much discussed in the eighties, and the need of 
a new school building in the Village. Then came the disastrous 
fires of 1886 and 1888. The first, beginning in the wooden build- 
ings on South and West Streets swept westward and was stopped 
at a brick building thirty feet west of the Court House. With no 
organized Fire Department, and no water supply but the neighbor- 
ing wells, the people energetically fought the fire, protecting them- 
selves from the heat bv wet umbrellas. The loss, only partially 

Mr. John Arent Vanderpoel 

The Wolcott and Litchfield Circulating Library. 1900, 
AND THE Sign-Post Elm 


covered by insurance, was about $60,000; and (what more nearly 
touched the local pride) the temporary removal of the Courts. The 
school-house was also destroyed, so the question of a new building was 
settled, and the present site on East Street bought, and shortly 
after built upon. Temporary barracks were erected for the 

merchants, rebuilding was begun at once, a brick block erected and 
the motto was "business as usual". The new buildings had been 
completed only a few months when the second fire swept over the 
business area spared two years earlier and also destroyed the newly 
erected Court House. 

In the following year the installation of the water system was 
begmi, a Fire Company was oi'ganized, and in 1891 the company was 
assembled to test the new mains. Then Mr. Deming Perkins came as 
usual to the fore and presented to the Borough the use of a 
beautifully equipped building, to serve not only as a shelter for the 
apparatus but as a club for the men. A pool room, reading room 
and even a hospital were provided, and the Fire Department has 
been ever since not only a protection to the town but a source of 
enjoyment to its members and to the community at large. For a 
number of years a weather bureau signal station was also main- 
tained at this building and the weather flags were familiar to the 
people of the town. Pool matches, bowling contests, parades and 
entertainments have originated there, and it is even claimed that the 
exchange of hospitality with New Milford's Hose Company did much 
to alleviate the slight tension caused by rival claims of the towns 
concerned to the honor of being the County Seat. A few years 
ago the efficiency of the Department was further increased by the 
gift of a motor chemical engine, presented by Mrs. Godfrey and 
Miss Coe. 

In 1862 a reading room had been established in the town with 
a membership fee of $5.00 a year. This was called the Litchfield 
Library Association, but when Mr. J. Huntington Wolcott, of Boston, 
father of Governor Eoger Wolcott, generously contributed $300. for 
the purchase of books, the name was changed to the Wolcott Library 
Association. The Wolcott family's interest in the libraiy was mani- 
fested also by other generous gifts at various times. In 1870 a 
circulating library was started independently, with a handful of 
books. In 1881, through the courtesy of Mr. George C. Woodruff, 
the two libraries Avere sheltered under a common roof in two rooms 
of "the brick building" on South Street. Ten years later the pres- 
ent commodious library building was planned and presented to these 
associations by Mr. John A, Vanderpoel, as a memorial to his 
grandmother, Mrs. William Curtis Noyes. He did not live to see 
it finished. In 1003, the two libraries were merged under the 
name of The Wolcott and Litchfield Circulating Library Associa- 
tion. Since that time Miss Katharine Baldwin has been Librarian, 
and it is largely due to her judgment and faithful work that the 
library ranks as a model of what the public library of a small 


village should be. There have been many generous gifts to the 
association, notably the Maghee Memorial of $10,000. presented by 
Mr. William Colgate, and the Kepair Fund of $3,500, raised by Mr, 
Abbott Foster, who devoted much of his energj^ to the improvement 
of the library. In 1907 a wing was added to the library build- 
ing by Mrs. Vanderpoel to complete the plan projected by her 
son. In the wing are housed the collections of the Litchfield 
Historical and Scientific Societies. Other societies which have 
contributed to the broadening of community interest are the 
Daughters of the American Eevolution, the Men's and Women's 
Forums, the Garden Club and the Needle and Bobbin Club. The 
Mary Floyd Tallniadge Chapter of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution was organized about twenty years ago and has been 
active in collecting records, preserving relics of our revolutionary 
and colonial history, holding exhibits and aiding and abetting other 
organizations in undertakings to further the public good. The two 
Forimis, founded respectively in 1910 and 1914, have served to stimu- 
late the exchange of opinion and crystalize their common thought. 
The Garden Club, Avhich is only a few years old, besides encourag- 
ing an interest in gardening, has shared in various measures for 
beautifying the town, and has recently become the manager of the 
old club on West Street, which it is to control as a Playhouse for 
the benefit of the communitj^ The Needle and Bobbin Club, which 
is younger still, is collecting examples of the arts of the needle and 
bobbin, and offering prizes in the schools for skill in these arts. 

Other organizations of a slightly different character contribut- 
ing to the common good, are the Litchfield County Farm Bureau, and 
the District Nursing Association. The Farm Bureau was estab- 
lished in 1914. Its objects as stated in its constitution are: "to 
promote the development of the most profitable and permanent 
system of agriculture; the most wholesome and satisfactory living 
conditions; the highest ideals in home and community life; and a 
genuine interest in the farm business and rural life on the part 
of the boys and girls and young people". The Nursing Association 
was founded a few years earlier largely through the efforts of Miss 
Harriet M. Eichards. In 1914 it affiliated with the Public Health. Ser- 
vice of the Red Cross. It has done much excellent work in dissemin- 
ating information, providing relief and instituting medical inspection 
in the schools; and it supports a nurse who does public health nurs- 
ing throughout the township at a very moderate fee. When Mrs. 
Philip Hubbard and Miss Adelaide Deming organized the Domestic 
Science classes in the school, the Nursing Association cooperated 
with them to make possible the hot school luncheon for the children. 
When the influenza epidemic struck Litchfield in the autumn of 
1918, Miss Richards, ably seconded by her colleagues in the asso- 
ciation, secured permission to use the ncAv Country Club as a 
hospital, borrowed beds and bedding, secured extra nurses, and con- 
centrated there the patients, who otherwise would have been scat- 

Rear-Admiral George P. Colvocoresses. (Retired) 



tered about the township, inadequately cared for, because of the sheer 
physical difficulties of the situation. On this occasion Miss Miriam 
Hubbard did yeoman service by supplementing the inadequate kit- 
chen of the club, cooking food daily at home and sending it to the 
hospital, Avhile many other people contributed their services in 
numerous ways. In the days before America's entry into the war 
and the direction of all energies to war service, the association also 
stood sponsor for a ''Community Centre", at which numerous classes 
were conducted by a number of volunteer workers. This activity 
ceased Avhen war was declared. 

Through the good will of some of her residents, Litchfield has also 
been a centre for welfare enteii^rises of a general nature. In 1900, 
Miss Mary Buel left her property on the Goshen road to the organiza- 
tion now known as the Connecticut Junior Kepublic. Originally a 
branch of the institution at Freeville, N. Y,, the Connecticut Kepublic 
has thriven and prospered through the interest and generosity of its 
friends. The object of the Kepublic is to train boys for citizen- 
ship through the practise of self-government under wise super- 
vision. Litchfield people have always been interested in the Kepub- 
lic and there is a Litchfield Aid which contributes to its support. 
The students of the summer camp of the Columbia School of Mines 
at Bantam Lake have for a number of years given entertaimnents 
at Litchfield for its benefit ; and there have been notable private con- 
tributions. Among these are the excellent and attractive build- 
ings erected in 1916-1917, for which Mr. Cass Gilbert contributed 
the plans, and the expenses of building were met by Mr. William 
Colgate and Mr. Roswell P. Angier of New Haven. 

We have spoken of the year's between the Civil and European 
Wars as fifty years of peace. They were however broken hj the 
brief excitement and passing anxiety of the war with Spain. The 
Red Cross was of course active in relief. The number of Litchfield 
men in military service is not accurately known. Gail Beckwitli 
and Edward Wilson enlisted. Daniel Hine and James O'Rourke 
were with the regulars. Harold and George Colvocoresses served. 
Major Wessells who distinguished himself at Santiago, was of 
Litchfield parentage. But the chief pride of Litchfield in the war was 
the distinguished service of Admiral — then Lieutenant-Commander — 
George P. Colvocoresses, who was executive officer of the Concord at 
Manila Bay. He was later transferred to the Olympia and returned 
to America with Admiral Dewey in the autumn of 1899. His return 
to Litchfield was a gala occasion for the town. The people pre- 
sented him with a sword, and though he had made the request that 
the ceremonies might be "as simple as possible", the towi\ held 
high holiday. Houses were gay with flags and bunting, salutes 
were fired, there was a bonfire, a parade and appropriate speeches; 


and in the evening serenades by the band, illuminations and fire- 
works. A memorial oak was planted by the Admiral with a silver 
trowel, ordered for the occasion by Miss Mary P. Quincy. 

In the course of sixty years many people have come and gone 
in Litchfield; new houses have been built and old ones altered and 
restored, and many have changed hands. Of all the houses built 
in this time none perhaps was more picturesquely begun than that 
of Miss Mary Quincy, for which the corner stone was laid with 
ceremony, and beneath which is buried a box containing family 
papers and heirlooms. 

Of the people who lived in the houses it is difficult for the 
present writer to speak. There are many people now living in the 
town who knew and loved them, and to whom the distinguished men 
and gracious women and all the undistinguished eager life of the 
time is not something written in a book, but a keen and vivid 
memory. Yet here and there in the printed word we find some 
glimpse of the living spirit. When Deming Perkins died "all the 
bells tolled for him". A friend of Mrs. Noyes wrote, "The roses 
in her garden and every good cause will miss her". Against the 
background of changing events we see in the records of the day, the 
distinguished figures of George C. Woodruff, Judge Origen S. Sey- 
mour, Judge Edward W. Se^nnour, Governor Charles B. Andrews 
and the winning personality of Dr. Henry Buel. Those of us fortunate 
enough to remember Mrs. Edward Seymour dancing the "first dance" 
in a room full of young people, will long delight in that memory of 
grace and distinction. Nor shall we forget the delicate vivacity 
of Mrs. Storrs Seymour or Dr. Seymour's unaffected kindliness. 
Old age in Litchfield is a gracious thing and many people have lived 
in vigor beyond the four score years allotted. Golden weddings 
have been frequent. In the Woodruff and Seymour families there 
were six such anniversaries between 1879 and 1919. The first 
was that of Mr. and Mrs. George C. Woodruff. Mrs. Woodruff was 
the sister of Judge Origen S. Seymour and Mrs. Seymour of Mr. 
Woodruff. In 1880 Judge and Mrs. Seymour kept their anniver- 
sary. In 1910 Mr. and Mrs. George M. Woodruff celebrated theirs; 
in the following year Dr. and Mrs. Storrs O. Seymour; in 1913, 
Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Woodruff and in 1919, Mr. and Mrs. Morris 
W. Seymour. 

Greek legend tells us that there were once two old people, true 
lovers, to whom the gods were kind, and when they had come to old 
age they were turned into trees, to bear winter and summer together 
and shelter forever the home they had loved. It is far from Litch- 
field Hill to the slopes of Parnassus. Yet in Litchfield, also, the 
trees bear witness to the spirit of the men who were here before 
us, who planted the young saplings and dreamed of beauty. 

The two hundred years of Litchfield's history are only an eddy 

Hon. Morris W. Seymour 


in the wind that blows clown the years. What our time shall add 
to that record is as yet uncertain. Yet human life is forever a 
miracle. Our lives are touched by the spirits of the past, 

"And the joy we felt will be a part of the gloi'y 

In the lover's kiss that makes the old couple's story". 





assisted by 


Table of Contents 


1. Last French War 1762 

2. War of the Revolution 1775-1783 

3. Civil War 1861-1865 

4. European War (1914) 1917-1918 


1. Congregational Church. 

2. Protestant Episcopal Church 

3. Methodist Episcopal Church 

4. Baptist Church 

5. Roman Catholic Church 


1. a. United States Senators from Litchfield 
1). Members of Congress. 

2. a. Governors of Connecticut 

b. Members of the Council 

c. Members of the State Senate 

d. Representatives 

e. Delegates to Constitutional Conventions 

3. a. Judges of Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors 

b. Chief Justices of Supreme Court of Errors 

c. Presiding Judges of Court of Common Pleas 

d. Associate Judges of Court of Common Pleas 

e. Judges of Court of Common Pleas 

f. Judges of Probate 

g. Commissioners of Superior Court 
h. Justices of the Peace 

5. a. Sheriffs of the County 

b. Clerks of the Superior Court 

c. County Treasurers 

d. Prosecuting Attorneys 
a County Commissioners 

6. a. Selectmen; b. Tovt^n Clerks; c. Town Treasurers; 
d. Postmasters. 


1. Original Proprietors 

2. First Settlers 

3. Selected List of Students at Law School with Offices held. 







1. Last French War. 

The following names are copied from "A Pay-RoU for Capt. 
Archibald McNeile's Company, in the Second Regiment of Connecti- 
cut Forces, for the year 1762", which is on file in the Secretary's 
Office, Hartford. It is not to be inferred that all the members of 
Captain McNeil's company belonged in Litchfield. Some in the 
list are recognized as residents of neighboring towns. 

Archibald McNeil, Capt. 

Isaac Moss, ist Lieut. 

Increase Moseley, 2nd Lieut. 

Elisha Blinn, Ensign 

Thomas Catlin, Sergt. 

Nathaniel Taylor, Sergt. 

Bezaleel Beebe, Sergt. 

Hezekiah Lee, Sergt. 

Archibald McNeil Jr., Sergt. 

Roger Catlin, Corp. 

William Drinkwater, Corp. 

Nathan Stoddard, Corp. 

James Lassly, Corp. 

Daniel Barnes, Drummer 

Jacob Bartholomew, Drummer 

Charles Richards 

Samuel Warner 

Samuel Gipson 

Joseph Jones 

John Barrett 

John Barrett Jr. 

WilHam Forster 

Francis Mazuzan 

Thomas Wedge 

Reuben Smith 

Jeremiah Osborn 

Benjamin Landon 

Isaac Osborn 

Robert Coe 

Adam Mott 

Asahel Hinman / 

Roswell Fuller 

Daniel Grant '' 

William Emons 

Moses Stoddard 

Gideon Smith 

Hezakiah Leach 

Adam Hurlbut 

Jeremiah Harris 

Eli Emons 
Alexander Waugh 
Orange Stoddard 
Ezekiel Shepard 
Ozias Hurlbut 
Daniel Harris 
John Collins 
Solomon Palmer 
Jonathan Smith. 
Jonathan Phelps 
John Cogswell 
Mark Kenney 
Aaron Thrall 
Timothy Brown 
Roswell Dart 
William Bulford 
James Manville 
Benjamin Bissell 
David Nichols 
Ichabod Squire 
Comfort Jackson 
Elisha Walker 
Amos Broughton 
Nathaniel Lewis 
Levi Bonny 
Thomas Barker 
Samuel Drinkwater 
Asahel Gray 
Eliakim Gibbs 
Samuel Peet 
Ephraim Smedley 
Edmund Hawes 
Silas Tucker 
Robert Bell 
Thomas Sherwood 
Ephraim Knapp 
Titus Tyler 
Thomas Williams 
Justus Seelye 



James Francier 
George Peet 
Nathaniel Barnum 
Adonijah Roice 
Elisha Ingraham 
Daniel Hurlbut 
Ebenezer Blackman 
Domini Douglas 
Amos Tolls 

Thomas Ranny 
Daniel Hamilton 
Asahel Hodge 
Daniel Warner 
Titus Tolls 
John Ripner 
Caleb Nichols 
John Fryer 
Ebenezer Pickett 

2. War of the Eevolution, 1775-1783. 

The following list is taken from the Honor KoU of Litchfield 
County Revolutionary Soldiers, published in 1912 by the Mary 
Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, D. A. R., under the editorship of Miss 
Josephine Ellis Richards. The authorities for the service of each 
man will be found in that monumental work, and are therefore not 
repeated here. The various cemeteries in the township where cer- 
tain of the men are known to have been buried have been added. 
These names have been obtained since the publication of the Honor 
Roll, by another committee of the Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter, 
of which Miss Cornelia Buxton Smith was the chairman. The 
abbreviations are as follows: B. for Bantam, E, for East, F. for 
Footville, H. for Headquarters, M. for Milton, Mo. for Morris, N. for 
Northfield, W. for West. 

*Lived elsewhere at the time of the^war; f Prison Ship Martyr; 
:^Prison Ship Survivor. 

Adams, Col. Andrew (W) 

Africa, Cash 

Agard, Hezekiah 

Alcock, Giles 
*Allen, Gen. Ethan 
*Allen, Heman 

Allen, John (E) 
+Allen, Nathaniel 

Aston, Sergt. Elida 

Atwell, Oliver 

Bacon, Ebenezer 

Bacon, Nathaniel 

Baldwin, Abner 

Baldwin, Ashbel (Mo.) 

Baldwin, Isaac (E) 

Baldwin, James (E) 

Baldwin, Samuel W. 

Barns, Ambrose 

Barns, Amos 

Barns, Benjamin 

Barns, Daniel 

Barns, Sergt. Enos (F) 

Barns, Enos 2d 

Barns, Enos 3d 

Barns, Moses 

Barns, Orange (F) 

Bates, Ephraim 

Batterson, Stephen 
*Beach, Barnias 

Beach, Maj. Miles 

Beach, Miles 
fBeach, Noah (W) 

Beach, Wait 

Beach, Zophar 

Beebe, Col. Bezaleel (W) 

Beecher, Burr (N) 

Bend, John 

Benton, Belah 

Benton, Nathaniel (W) 

Bill, Elijah 

Bingham, Ozias 

Birge, Benjamin (H) 



Birge, Beriah (H) 

Birge, James (M) 

Bishop, Luman 

Bissell, Archelaus (W) 

Bissell, Benjamin Sr. (W) 

Bissell, Sergt. Benjamin 

Bissell, Calvin (W) 

Bissell, John (M) 

Bissell, Luther (W) 
•f-Bissell, Zebulon (W) 

Blake, Richard 
- Blakesley, Samuel (N) 

Bottom, John 

Bradley, Aaron (E) 

Bradley^ Capt. Abraham 
*Bradley, Daniel (E) 
*Bradley, Capt. Phineas 

Bricks, John (Breck) 

Bristol, Isaac 

Brown, Joseph 
*Buel, Asahel 

Buel, Isaac 

Buel, Jonathan 

Buel, Salmon (W) 

Buel, Solomon (W) 

Buell^ Lieut. Peter (E) 

Bull, Lieut. Aaron 

Bull, Asa (W) 

Bull, George 

Burnham, Asa 

Burnham,, Wolcott 

Burr, Aaron 

Byer, Return 

Canfield, Abial 
*Camp(, Abel (Mo.) 

Camp, Eldred 
*Camp, Ezra (Mo.) 

Catlin, Abel 

Catlin, Capt. Alexander 

Catlin, Ashbel 

Catlin, Bradley 

Catlin, David 

Catlin, Capt. Eli 

Catlin, George 

Catlin, Isaac (M) 

Catlin, Phineas 

Catlirk, Putnam 

Catlin, Samuel 

(Ratlin, Capt. Theodore 

Catlin, Lieut. Thomas Jr. (E) 

Catlin^ Uriah (N) 

Chamberlin, William 

Champion, Rev. Judah (E) 

Chase, Sergt. Lot (W) 

Churchill, Oliver 
*Clark, Abel (Mo.) 

Cleaveland, Diah (Dyer) 

Clemmonds, Abijah 

Cluff, Isaac (Clough) 

Coe, Levi (W) 

Coe, Zachariah 

Collens, Charles (Mo.) 
*Collins, Cyprian 

Columbus, James 

Colyer, Joseph 

Cone, Lieut. Abner 

Cook, Oliver 

Cowl, John 

Cramton, Elon (E) 

Crampton, Lieut. James (Cram- 
ton) (E) 

Crampton, Lieut. Neri 

Craw, Reuben 

Crosby, Simon "' 

Culver, Abel 

Culver, Ashbel (Asabel) 

Culver, Reuben 
*Culver, Solomon 

Curtis, Zarah 

Davis, Samuel 
*Dear, George 2nd 
*Deming, Julius (E) 

Dennison, Chauncey (H) 

DeWolfi, Levi (Mo.) 

Dickinson, Friend 

Dickinson, Oliver (M) 

Dixon, George 

Douglas, Col. William 

Emmonds, Arrings 

Emons, A. (Abner or Arthur) 

Emons, Isaac 

Emons, Phineas (Mo.) 

Emons, William 

Fancher, Rufus 

Farnam, Corp. John (Mo.) 




Farnam, Seth (Mo.) 

Goslee, Solomon (B) 



Gould, John 

Foote, Capt. Aaron 

Grant, Ambrose (E) 



Grant, Elihu 



Grant, Isaac 


1, Amos (W) 

Grant, Lieut. Jesse 

Garnsey, Noah, (Guernsey) (N) 

Grant, Joel 


John I. 

*Grant, Roswell 


^ieut. Col. Ebenezer 

Graves, Alexander 

*Gay, ( 

Col. Fisher 

Graves, Ezekiel 



Graves, Sylvanus 


Lieut. Benjamin (Mo.) 

Green, Jacob 



Griffis, Corp. James 



Griswold, Jacob 


Gershom Jr. 

Griswold, James (W) 



Griswold, John (M) 



Griswold, Jonathan (F) 


Lemuel (Mo.) 

Griswold, Midian (B) 


Moore (More, Moah) (M) 

fHall, Sergt. David 



Hall. John (M) 



Hall, William 3rd (Mo.) 



Hamilton, George 


Solomon (W) 

Hand, Timothy 


Sergt. Spencer 

*Hanks, Benjamin 



Harrison, Daniel 


Trumpeter Truman 

Harrison, David (Mo.) 


Capt. Wareham 

Harrison, Sergt. Elihu (Mo.) 



Harrison, Jacob 


William Jr. 

Harrison, Lemuel 


Zadok (Zadock) 

Harrison, Solomon 



Harrison, Thomas Jr., (Mo.) 


t, Asa 

Hart, Tucker 


t, Sergt. Joseph 

Haskin (s), Abraham 


;rt, Abner (Gilbert) 

Hawley, Peter 


, Asa 

Hays, Elijah 


, Sergt. John 

Hays, Zenas 


, Othniel 

Heath, Thomas 



Henshaw, William Jr. 


ich, William 

Herick, Amos 


vin, Jesse 

Hitchcock, Abel 


vin, Sergt. Joseph 

Hodgkis (Hotchkiss?), Samuel 


vin, Capt. Nathaniel (Mo.) 

Holcomb, Phineas 


irin, Sergt. Nathaniel Jr. (Mo.) 

Hopkins, Harris (N) 


vin. Ensign Ozias (W) 

Horsford, Isaac 


vin, Phineas 

*Horton, Elisha (B) 


vin, Solomon 

Hotchkiss, Sergt. Stephen 


vin, Uri (Mo.) 

Hough, Thadeus 


vin, Corp. William 

*Hunt, Russell 



Jackson, Jonathan 

Jennings, William 
f Johnson, Sergt. Amos (Mo.) 

Johnson, Benjamin (B) 
*Johnson, Eliphalet 

Johnson, John 

Johnson, Rufus 

Johnson, Zechariah 

Jones^ Lieut. Eaton (E) 

Jones, Harris 

Jones, Samuel 

Judson, Jacob 

Keeney, Mark 

Kelcy, Peter 

Kelley, John 

Kent, Darius 

Kilborn, Abraham 

Kilborn, David (B) 

Kilbournv Giles (W) 

Kilbourn, Jehiel 
*Kilbourn, Capt. John 

Kilbourn, Joseph 

Kilbourn, Roswell 

Kilbourn, Samuel 

King, Sergt. David 
• Kirby, Lieut. Ephraim 

Knapp, Sergt. Jared 
*Lamson, Daniel (Mo.) 

Landen, Daniel (W) 

Landon, Ebenezer 

Landon, Hazia 

Landon, James 

Landon, Reuben 

Landon, Seth (W) 

Laraby, Asa 

Laraby, Willet 

Lerow, John, (Lerrow, Larow) 

Lewis, Benjamin 

Lewis, Ezekiel 

Lewis, Capt. John 

Lewisv Joseph 

Lewis, Sergt. Nathaniel 

Lewis, William 

Linsley, Abiel 

Linsley, Solomon 

Linsley, Timothy 
:{:Little, James 
Little, Fifer Samuel 

Little, William 

Lord, Lynde (W) 
fLyman, John 

Manjent, Nicholas 
*Mansfield, Capt. Joseph (Mo.) 

Marsh, Capt. John (E) 
•j-Marsh, Timothy 

Marshall, Elisha 
fMarshall, Oliver 

Mason, Ashbel 

Mason, Elisha (E) 

Mason, John 

Mason, Lieut. Jonathan 

Mason, Joseph (N) 

Mason, Corp. Luther 
:j:Mason, Thomas -— - 

Mazuzen, Mark 

McDaniel, Anthony 

Mclntire, Henry 

McNeil, Adam 

McNiel, Archibald Jr. (E) 
fMcNiel, Alexander 3d (E) 

Meleck, Ebed 

Merrill, Nathaniel (Nathan) 

Mix, Eli 

Morris, Capt. James (Mo.) 

Morris, Richard 

Moss, Levi (Levy) (N) 

MosSi Linos 

Moulthrop, Moses 

Munger, Daniel 

Negro, George 

Negro, Jack 

Norton, John 
-2^0dell, William 

Olcott, Giles 
fOlmstead, Capt. David 

Orton, Azariah 

Orton, Darius 

Orton, Eliada 

Orton, Gideon 

Orton, Lemuel 

Orton, Samuel 

Osborn, Ethan 

Osborn, Isaac (W) 

Osborn, Jeremiah 

Osborn. Capt. John (W) 

Osborne, Capt. Eliada (W) 



Owen, Thomas 

Page, Abel 

Page, Asa 

Page, Daniel (M) 

Palmer, Benjamin 

Palmer, Chileon 

Parmeley, Lieut. Amos 

Parmeley, Joel (Parmelee) 
f Parmeley, John (Parmelee) 
f Parmeley, Solomon (Parmelee) 

Parker^ Isaac 

Parker, Dr. Joseph (Mo.) 

Parsons, Eliphaz (M) 

Peck, Ashabel (Mo.) 

Peck, Elijah 

Peck, John Jr. (F) 

Peck, Levi 

Peck, Moses 

Peck. Paul (W) 

Peck, Philo (W) 

Peck, Reeve 

Phelps, Edward 3d, (E) 

Phelps, John (E) 

Phillips, Gideon 

Pierce, John 

Pilgrim, Thomas (W) 

Plant, Stephen (W) 

Plant. Timothy 

Plumb (e), Ebenezer 

Plumb, Henry 

Pond, Beriah 

Post, Corp. Ward 

Potter, Joel (H) 

Price,, Paul 
*Ranney, Maj. Stephen 

Ray, William (Mo.) 

Reeve, Tapping (E) 

Rich, Amos 

Rich. Caesar 

Riggs, Corp. Jeremiah 

Roberts, Thomas 

Robins, John 

Rogers, Joseph 

Ross, Simeon 

Rosseter, Samuel 

Russell, John 

Royal, John 

Sacket, Buel 

Sales, William 

San ford, Jonah (Mo.) 

Sanford, Joseph (Mo.) 

Sanford, Moses 

Sanford, Oliver 

Sanford, Solomon 

Sanford, Zaccheus 

Seelye, Benjamin 

Seelyci, David 

Seelye, Ebenezer 

Seelye, John 

Seelye, Seth 

Seelye, Zadok 

Seymour, Maj. Moses (E) 

Seymour, Capt. Samuel (W) 
*Sheldon. Col. Elisha (W) 

Sheldon, Thomas 

Shelley, John (Alias Kelley) 

Shethar, Capt. John 

Simpson, John 

Smith, Gen. David (E) 
*Smith, Ensign Eli (E) 

Smith, Elisha 

Smith, Henry 

Smith, Sergt. Jacob (N) 

Smith. John (E) 

Smith, Jonathan Jr. 

Smith, Joshua Jr. 

Smith, Moses 

Smith, Nathaniel 

Smith, Dr. Reuben (W) 

Smith, Stephen 

Spencer, Ephraim (W) 

Sperry, Enoch 

Stanard, Samuel 

Stanley, Earl 
f Stanley, Timothy 

Stanton, Capt. William 

Stevenson, Adam 

Stewart, Daniel 

Stocker, Thadeus 
fStoddard, Aaron 

Stoddard, Capt. Bryant (Mo.) 

Stoddard, Lieut. David (W) 

Stoddard. Daniel (B) 

Stoddard, Jesse (B) 

Stoddard, Obed 

Stone, Benjamin 



Stone, Ira 

Stone, Jonah (B) ^ 

Stone, Josiah (Alias Joseph) 

Stone, Levi 

Stone, Seth 
- Stone, Sylvanus (Sylvenus) (W) 
::}:Stone, Thomas (B) 

Strickland, David 

Strong, Jedediah 
-f-Stuart, Jared (Steward) 

Sweet, John 
*Tallmadge, Maj. Benjamin (E) 

Taylor, Benjamin 

Taylor, Ebenezer 

Taylor, Elisha (E) 
-f-Taylor, Joel 

Taylor, John 

Taylor, Moses 

Taylor, Simeon 

Taylor, Capt. Zebulon and 

Thomas, Joseph 

Throop, Benjamin (F) 

Todd, Samuel 

Tracy, Uriah 

Tracy, Silas 

Trowbridge, Isaac 

Trumbull, Ezekiel (Mo.) 

Tuttle, Levi 

Underwood, James 
-j-Vaill, Samuel 

Vaughn, John 

Vaughn, Samuel 

Wadsworth, Gen. Elijah 

Wadsworth, Epaphras 
^Wallace^ Nathaniel L. 

Wallace, Corp. Richard (E) 

Warren, Abijah (Ahijah) 

Waugh, Capt. Alexander 

Waugh, Joseph 

Waugh, Capt. Samuel (F) 

Waugh, Dr. Thadeus (F) 

Way, Asa (N) 

Way, Ira 

Way, John 

Way, Selah (Seeley) 

Webster, Benjamin Jr. (E) 

Webster, Charles 

Webster, EHjah 

Webster, Justus (W) 

Webster, Michael 

Webster, Obed 

Webster, Reuben (E) 

Webster, Corp. Stephen (E) 

Webster, Timothy Jr. (E) 
*Weed, Ezra 

Welch, Maj. David (M) 

Welch, Lieut. John (M) 

Welch, John 2nd 

Wetmore, David 

Whittlesey, Roger N. (Mo.) 

Wickwire. Grant (F) 

Wilcox, Philemon 

Wolcott, Gen. Oliver (E) 

Wolcott, Oliver Jr. (E) 

Woodcock, Sergt. Samuel 

Woodruff, Andrew 

Woodruff, Baldwin 

Woodruff, Benjamin Jr. 

Woodruff, Charles Jr. (Mo.) 

Woodruff, Jacob (Mo.) 

Woodruff, James (Mo.) 

Woodruff, John 

Woodruff, Sergt. Jonah 
:]:Woodruff, Oliver 

Woodruff, Philo 

Woodruff, Samuel 

Woodruff, Solomon 

Wooster, Ephraim 

Wooster, Lemuel (W) 

Wright, James 

Wright, Ensign Jonathan (M) 

3. Civil War, 1861-1865. 
The following list has been prepared from the "Kecord of Con- 
necticut Men in the War of the Rebellion", compiled by authority 
of the (General Assembly and published in 1889; and from manu- 
script records of Dwight C. Kilbourn and of the Seth Plumb Post, 
G. A. E. The names of one man from the township who was dis- 
lionorably discharged and of 43 who deserted have been omitted 



from this Honor Roll. The following abbreviations have been used : 
*Men who served in the 2nd Reg. Conn. Volunteers Heavy Artillery; 
fMen killed or who died while in ser\'ice; :}:Men who served in the 
2nd Reg. Conn. Volunteers Heavy Artillery, and who were killed 
or who died while in service. 

:}:Adams, Corp. Charles Jr. 

Addis, Frederick A. 

Allard, Joseph 

Alvord, Sergt. Edgar A. 

Anderson, James 
*ArnoId, William 
*Atwood, George E. 
*Atwood, Josiah 
*Atwood, Minot M. 
f Baker, William 
fBaldwin, George W. 
*Ball, Charles H. 
*Banker, Corp. Hubert 
fBanker, Philo 
fBarber, Charles 
fBarber, Francis E. 
^Barber, Frederick 

Barber, Henry H. 
:|:Barber, Norman B. 
*Barnes, Nelson H. 
•f-Barse, Eliot 
fBeach, Jerome B. 
*Beach, Thomas W. 

Beardsley, Edson C. 
*Belden, John A. 
^Benedict, John 

Benedict, William 
*Bierce, Alexander 

Birge, Cornelius 
*Bissell, Leonard C. 
*Bissell, Corp. Lewis 
:{:Bissell, Rufus M. 
*Bissell, Capt. William 

Blakeman, Corp. James 
*Blakeslee, George P. 

Bluecher, George 
fBooth, Corp. George F. 
:|:Bradley, Almon B. 
^Bradley, George 
*Bradlej', Hiram 
^Bradley, Muse. Joseph D. 
*Bradley, Leonard O. 
f Bradshaw, William 

:}:Bray, Michael 
:};Brooker, Andrew J. 

Brown, John 

Brown, William 
*Buell, Appollos W. 

Bulkeley, Charles A. 
fBulkeley, William S. 

Bunnell, Wagoner Albert 
:}:Bunnell, Corp. Franklin M. 
f Bunnell, Henry H. 

Burke, Corp. Michael 

Buxton, Sergt. Ezekiel 
■*Cable, Corp. Henry T. 

Cable, Corp. William H. 
fCamp, Joseph E. 
ifCandee. David M. 

Carter, Charles 
f Castle, Charles L. 

Castle, Grove E. 
fCastle, Morton 
fCatlin, Charles 
fChapel, Alonzo 
fClark, Corp. Sylvanus M. 

Cogswell, Edward 

Cohen, Isaac 

Conroy, Thomas 

Cook, Corp. Roger W. 
f Cooley, Hiram T. 
*Cooper, Sergt. John H. 

Crow, Asahel 

Culver, Charles 

Curtiss, Evits H. 

Dains, George 

Daley, John 

Davidson, Ira A. 
'^Davis', 2nd Lieut. Calvin L. 

Davis, Sergt. William W. 

Delliber, Charles W. 
*Deming, Adj. Charles J. 

Deviney, Michael 
fDickinson, Thomas 
f Dixon, Muse. Thomas 
fDorman, Owen 



fDutton, 1st Lieut. Henry M, 
*Dwyer, Sergt. Edward 
fEdwards, Corp. James 
*FarreI, Sergt. Patrick 

Fellows, Henry M. 
fFerris, Smith W. 

Fish .Charles J. 

Fisher, Sergt. Charles C. 

Fisher, Edward E. 

Fisher, Corp. George F. S. 

Flynn, George 
fForfe, Jacob 

Foster, Thomas H. 

Fuller, Corp. Granville B. 

Gafifneyi, Patrick 
*Gibbs, Corp. Henry G. 

Gilbert, Francis C. 
*Goslee, Q. M. Sergt. Charles F. 
f Goslee, Hugh S. 

Griswold, Edward 
*Griswold, Silas M. 

Guirard, Peter 
fGutterman, Muse. John 
fHale, Walter 
*Hall, William J. 

Hallock, Loren 

Hammer, Ernst 
:}:Handel, John 

Harris, William H. 

Hart, Joseph 
■*Healy, Anson W. 
^Hempstead, Wagoner Edward S. 
:};Hempstead, 2nd Lieut. George B. 

Herbert, Sergt. Garrett 

Herbert, Patrick 
*Herbert, Thomas (On Rolls as 

*Hinsdale, Q. M. Sergt. Charles W. 
*Hotchkiss, Henry W. 
fHubbard, Horace 
^Hubbard, Joseph S. 

Hull, Corp. Levi H. 
*Hull, William H. 

Hurd, George H. 
:j:Iflfland, John 
*Jennings, Frederick T. 

Johnson, John 

Johnson, Lewis 
f Johnson, Plumb 
:{:Jones, Corp. Albert A. 
fKarrier, Jerry (On Rolls as Jere- 
miah Kelleher) 
•j-Kearn, Jacob 

Kelly, John 
*Kilbourn, ist Lieut. Dwight C. 
*Kilbourr^, Myron E. 

Kinley, John M. 

Lampman, Charles V. 
•f-Lampman, Luman 

Lampman, Corp. Robert 

Landon, Charles M. 

Lawrence, Morton B. 

Linsburg, John 
*Malath, Peter 

Marshall, Charles 
*Mason, Capt. George W. 
*Mason, Corp. Henry H. 
*Mason^ Sergt. Henry W. 
fMason, Thomas 

Matthews, Warren W. 

May, Frank 

Mayo, Henry 
fMcElroy, Henry 

McGee, Thomas 
fMcKinley, 2nd Lieut. Thomas H. 
*Merriman, Charles 
f Miller, John 
:{:Minor, Henry M. 

Moore, Charles J. 

Moore, John 

Moore, William 
:}:Morse, Corp. Appollos C. 

Munger, Trueworthy 

Munson, Walter D. 

Murray, Muse. Warren B. 
*Myer, Philip 

*Nettleton,Musc. Albert R. 
:}:Newbury, Nelbert P. 
fNewcomb, Francis A. 
fNichols, Jerome 

Nichols, John P. 

Nightingale, Frederick 

Norris, Corp. William H. 
*Northrop, Rollin R. 
+Norville. William H. 



'^Oakes, Corp. Eben L. 

O'Brien, James 
:}:Osbofne, Sergt. Maj. Goodwin E. 
*Parker, Frank 

Parker, Joseph H. 
f Parks, Joseph P. 

Parmalee, Cornelius 

Parmalee, EH , 

:}:Parmalee, Willard H. 
^Parmalee, William K. 
:j; Parmalee, Watson 

Parrit, Frank 

Payne, Henry 

Peacock, Patrick 
:}:Peck, Albert A. 
*Peck, Capt. Edward O. 

Perkins, Charles 
:j:Perkins, Edwin F. 
*Perkins, Harvey B. 
*Perkins, Norman B. 

Peters, James T. 
fPlumb, 2nd Lieut. Seth F. 
*Plumb, William H. 
*Pond, Edwin W. 
*Pond, Ferris 

Pond, George L. 
*Pond, Corp. Seth C. 
:{:Potter, Corp. George W. 

Provost, Rufus 

Redding, Thomas 
*Reed, Chaunccy F. 
*Reed, Joseph P. 
fRichmond, Edward S. 

Rodgers, John 

Root, George 
fRuby, Sergt. James H. 
:}:Ryan, Patrick 

Ryne, Corp. William 

Sanford, Set-gt. Edwin B. 
*Sanford, Theodore G. 

Schmidt, Henry 

Scoville, Ezekiel 
*Scoville, Sergt. Harry 
^Sedgwick, ist Lieut. John E. 
*Shumway, Capt. Alex. B. 

Shumwaj', Fred'k D. 

Smith, 1st Lieut. Edward B. 
:}; Smith, Lyman J. Jr. 

^Smith, Whiting P. 
*Smitb, Sergt. WiUiam S. 
^Spencer, Sergt. Hiram S. 

Starks, George 
iflStillson, Amos H. 
*St. John, Jason 

Stone, Sergt. Alva 
^Stone, 2nd Lieut. George D. 

Stone, Chaplain Hiram 
*Sweet, Lyman E. 

Taylor, Lyman 

Taylor, Sergt. Samuel S. 

Terrill, George 

Terryl, Luther A. 

Thomas), Charles 

Thomas, Sergt. Edward O. 
fThompkins, Enos 

Throop, Corp. Monroe 

Titus, Gilbert 
*Tompkins, Jackson 
f Tompkins, John 

Tompkins, Ralph H. 

Tracy, Abel C. 
fTreat, Frederick W. 

Vaill, Q.M. Sergt. Joseph H. 
*Vaill, Adj. Theodore F. 
:{:Volusen, Caralf 

Wade, Henry 
fWadhams, Sergt. Edward 
fWadhams, Henry W. 
:}:Wadhams, Capt. Luman 

Wakefield. William C. 

Waldron, WilHam 

Warren, Charles 
:{:Watt Robert 
*Waugh, George F. 
fWebster, Frederick B. 
*Wedge, Corp. Curtis P. 
*Weeks, Luther L. 

Wells, Major Frank 

Wessells, Bvt. Brig.-Gen. Henry W. 
*Wessells, Col. Leverett (e), W. 

West, Henry G. 
*Whaples, Sergt. Charles O. 
*Wheeler, Charles G. 

Wheeler, George W. 

Wheeler, Q. M. Sergt. Stiles A. 

Wheeler, Muse. Walcott 



*Whiting, Corp. Seth 
J:Wilcox, Corp. John L. 
*Williams, Sergt. Henry 

4. European War, 

Allen, du Val 
Allen, Paul Jr. 
Andrews, Leslie F. 
Axelby, Stanley 
Axelby, William 
Bachman, Charles I. 
Baldwin, George H. 
Baldwin, Robert L. 
Baldwin, Thomas C. 
Barrett, John F. 
Beach, William M. 
Beckwith, Sutherland A. 
Bostwick, Elmore McN. 
Brahen, Edward J. 
Bramer, Hugo 
Brennan, Edward A. 
Brennan, Garrett F. 
Brennan, Matthew E. Jr. 
Brewster, James 
Brown, Ernest W. 
Buell, Carleton L. 
Buell, John S. 
Bull. Ludlow S. 
Busk, Frederick W. 
Busk, Joseph R. 
Burke. James F. 
Burkei, John N. 
Cameron, John 
Campomaggi, Giovanni 
Carlson, Gustav A. 
Carr, Thomas 
Catlin, James H. 
Cattey, Henry E.* 
Catteys Lucien H. 
Clark, William B. 
Clock, Albert W. 
Clock. Frederick E. 
Clock, Henry W. 
Colvocoresses, Harold P. 
Ccnroy, James E. 
Cornwell, Roy E.* 
Cucchi, Eugenio 
Cunningham, Macklin 
Curtiss, Burdette 

fWooster, David B. 
Yemmansv William H, 

(1914), 1917-1918. 

Curtiss, Erwin M. 
Curtiss, Eugene F. 
Conable, Samuel M. 
Danielson, Caleb R. 
Danielson, Clifford H. 
Deacon, Arthur D. 
Deming, Nelson L, 
Deming, Robert C. 
Dempsey, Charles J. 
Devines, Clayton A.* 
Dickinson, Frederick G. 
Donohue, Edward J. M. 
Donohue, Joseph* 
Doster, Alexis 
Doyle, Francis L. 
Doyle, Lawrence F. 
Drumrn, Otto C. 
Drury, James M. 
Drury, John F. 
Edwards, George L. 
Fabbri, Albert S. 
Fairgrieve, Robert P. 
Farnetti, Primo 
Finan, William J. 
Fritz, Ernest G. 
Fusaroli, Umberto 
Ganung, Charles R. 
Ganung. Clarence F. 
Goodman, Wesley L. 
Gugnoni, Lazaro 
Gugnoni, Filipo 
Guidi, Ugo 
Guinchi, Arnold 
Guinchi, August* 
Hallock, Francis J. 
Handlowich, Daniel 
Handlowich, Michael 
Handlowich, Stephen 
Harney, John M. 
Harney, William M. 
Harris, Charles P. 
Harris, Thaddeus W. Jr. 
Hatheway, Curtis R. Jr. 
Hausmann, Joseph A. 



Hayes, Michael 
Hazen, Ruel 
Heath, Edward P. 
Higgins, Hubert A. 
Higgins, Timothy F. 
Hotchkiss, CHfford T. 
Hoyt, Lewis H. 
Hunt, Philip W. 
Jeffries, Bruce S. 
Jeffries, Robert P.* 
Johnson, Edward C. 
Johnson, Oliver H. 
Keller, John E. Jr. 
Kelly, Thomas J. 
Kirbyi, Leo F. 
Kirwin, James L. 
Knox, Robert J. 
Knox, Thomas J. 
Koser, Henry J. 
Landon, Alva 
Landon, Robert W. 
Langford, Thomas A, 
MacDonald, Archibald A. 
MacDonald, Malcolm E. 
Marchi, Carlo 
Matson, Frederick R. 
McBride, Alphonse 
Meramble, Eugene W. 
Mooney, John J. 
Mooney, William 
Moore, Clifford F. 
Morgan, Frank A.* 
Morey, Charles H. 
Munroe, Robert K. 
Naser, Peter F. 
Nozzioli, Frederick 
Page. Carlisle W. C. 
Page, Charles L Jr. 
Page, Henry L. 
Panaytatos, Peter 

Parsons, Evans C. 
Perkins, Benjamin T. 
Perkins, Clarence E. 
Perkins, Edwin B. 
Peacocke, William D. 
Pepper, Charles V. 
Ray, Charles M. 
Richards, Guy H. 
Roberg, William D. 
Robinson, Leonard G. 
Salocks, Andrew 
Santi, Aurelio 
Sassi, Colombano 
Schmidhausler, Arthur 
Selvic, Alf 
Sepples, Charles L. 
Shanley, William L. 
Sherry, Howard C* 
Short, Richard A. 
Slattery, John J. 
Snyder, Edward L. 
Terek, Andrew V. 
Tompkins, Frank L. 
Trumbull, Allan T. 
Turkington, Charles H. 
Umberti, Emelio 
Valmoretti. Gino 
Van Winkle, Edgar B. Jr. 
Weik, John 
Weir, James V.* 
Weir, Frank B. 
Weir, Thomas F. 
Westerberg, Carl F. 
Wheeler, Clarence M. 
Whitbeck, Charles A. 
Wiggin, Frederick H. 
Wooster, Harold A. 
Yovmg, Ivar J. 
Zavotti, Pio* 

*Killed or died in service. 


1. Congregational Church. 

a. Litchfield. 

Timothy Collins 
Judah Champion* 
Dan Huntington 

I 723-1 752 

I 753-1 798 

Lyman Beecher, D.D. 1810-1826 

Daniel L. Carroll, D.D. 1827-1829 

Laurens P. Hickok, D.D. 1829-1836 



Jonathan Brace, D.D. 1838-1844 

Benjamin L. Swan 1846- 1856 

Leonard W. Bacon, D.D. 1856-1859 

George Richards 1860-1865 

William B. Clark 1866-1869 

Henry M. Elliott 
Allan B. McLean 
Charles Symington 
John Hutchins 
Frank J. Goodwin, D.D. 

^Became Rector Emeritus, 1798, Died 1810. 

b. South Farms. 

George Beckwith 

I 772-1781 

Amos Chase 


William R. Weeks 

, D.D. 


Amos Pettingill 


Henry Robinson 

I 823 -I 829 

Vernon D. Taylor 


c. Xorthfield 


Joseph Eleazer Camp 

I 795- 1837 







I 837- I 844 

J. S. Dickinson 


Lewis Jessup 


Noah Coe 


Stephen Rogers 


James Richards, D.D. 


Erastus Colton 


Wallace Humistc 

d. Milton. 

Benjamin Judd 

I 802- I 804 

Abraham Fowler 


Asahel Nettleton, D.D. 


Levi Smith 


Ralph Smith 


John F. Norton 

I 844- I 849 

Herman L. Vaill 

I 849- I 85 I 

Francis Williams 


James Noyes 


James F. Warner 
Ralph S. Crampton 
Stephen Hubbell 
B. Y. Messenger 
Richard Woodruff 
David L. Parmalee 

E. N. Tucker 
Hiram Gates 

Elias Sanford, DD., LL.D. 
S. G. W. Rankin 
M. J. Callan 
William Howard 
H. Augustus Ottman 
Edward C. Starr 
Joseph Kyte 
Fred Louis Grant 
Giles F. Goodenough 
James A. McKeeman 
Alexander S. Baillie 

George Harrison 
Aurelian Post 
Wesley E. Page 
Joseph D. Prigmore 
Pearl E. Mathias 
Thomas A. Williams 
Miss M. E. Millen* 
Eugene Richards 
^Missionary in charge. 

2. Protestant Episcopal Cliurcli. 

a. Litchfield. St. Michael's Parish. 

I 870- I 874 



I 906- I 907 

Solomon Palmer 

I 754- I 763 

David Butler, D.D. 

I 794- I 799 

Thomas Davies 

I 763- I 766 

Truman Marsh 

I 799- I 829 

Solomon Palmer 

I 766- I 770 

Isaac Jones* 


James Nichols 


John S. Stone, D.D.* 

I 826- I 829 

Ashbel Baldwin 


William Lucas 




Samuel Fuller, D.D. 
William Payne, D.D. 
Samuel Fuller, D. D. 
Benjamin W. Stone, D.D 
John J. Brandegee, D.D. 
Junius M. Willey 
H. N. Hudson 

I 832- I 837 
I 845- I 849 
William J. Brewster 1916- 

*Associate Rector; f Became Rector Emeritus, died 1918. 

William S. Southgate 1860-1864 

William S. Perry 1864-1869 

C. S. Henry, D.D. 1870-1873 

G. M. Wilkins 1874-1879 

Storrs O. Seymour, D.D. 1879-1881 

L. P. Bissell, D.D. 1882-1893 

Storrs O. Seymour, D.D.f 1893-1916 

b. Bantam and Milton, St. Paul's and Trinity Churches. 

David G. Tomlinson 


J. A. Wainwright 


Amos Beach 


J. D .Berry 


Hilliard Bryant 


William L. Peck 


Emery M. Porter 


Hiram Stone 

I 873- I 903 

Frederick D. Harriman 


J. H. Jackson 


George W. Nichols 

I 850- I 85 I 

John 0. Ferris 


Asa Griswold 


Clarence H. Beers 


Daniel E. Brown 


Robert Van K. Harris 


John R. Williams 


Thaddeus W. Harris 



B. Crichton IQIQ- 

c. Northfield. Trinity Church. 

Alexander V. Griswold 


J. F. George* 

David Baldwin 


Frank A. Sanborn* 

Russell Wheeler . 


William Johnson* 

Roger Searle 


Fred C. Lee* 

David Welton 


Edward C. Johnson* 

Frederick Holcomb 


Edgar L. Sanford* 

William Watson 


David L. Sanfordf 


Thomas W. Snow 


Edward C. Johnson* 

Isaac H. Tuttle 

I 839- I 840 

Irving P. Johnson* 

Frederick Holcomb 

I 840- I 845 

Storrs 0. Seymourf 

1887- I 890 

Abel Ogden Jr. 

I 845 -I 846 

Irving Johnson* 

Joshua D. Berry 

I 847- I 848 

William E. Hookerf 


George W. Nichols 

I 848- I 850 

William H. Hutchinson* 

Ruel H. Tuttle 

I 850- I 85 I 

S. Wolcott Linsley* 

Asa Griswold 


Arthur T. Parsonsf 


Frederick Holcomb 

I 852- I 862 

Anthon T. Gesner* 

William J. Pigott* 

I 862- I 863 

Arthur Gammock* 

Benjamin Eastwood 


John Gammock* 

Henry C. Stowell 


Alfred J. Nock* 

C. CoUard Adams 


Albert L. Whittaker* 

Frederick Holcomb 

I 869- I 872 

William H. Jepson* 

William Bostwick 

I 872- I 878 

George H. Buck 


Storrs 0. Seymourf 

I 878- I 885 

Adelbert P. Chapman 


William S. Sayre* 

Hamilton B. Phelpsf 


-»Lay : 

Reader; -j-In 




3. Methodist Episcopal Church, 
a. Litchfield. 
CircTiit Preachers who served Litchfield, 1790-1844. 

Samuel Wigton 

James M. Smith 

Henry Christie 


David Miller 

Matthias Swain 

Julius Field 


James Covel 


Daniel Brayton 

Philip Wager 

Elbert Osborne 


James Coleman 


Arnold Schofield 

Lemuel Smith 

Elbert Osborne 


Daniel Ostrander 

1793- I 796 

Eli Barnet 

William Thacher 


John Love joy 


Aaron Hunt 


E. Washburne 

Peter Moriarty 


F. W. Sizer 

Nathan Emory 

Asa Bushnell 


Samuel Cochran 


E. Washburne 

Aaron Hunt 

Asa Bushnell 


Jonathan Lyon 


Bradley Silleck 

Henry Eames 

Wells Wolcott 

Andrew Prindle 


L. C. Cheney 


Laban Clark 

Bradley Silleck 

Reuben Harris 


Milo Chamberlain 

James Coleman 

David Stocking 


Arnold Schofield 


Luther Mead 

James Coleman 

Lerman .A Sanford 


B. Grififen 


A. S. Hill 

W. Swazey 

0. Stare 


Gad Smith 

C. W. Turner 

J. Reynolds 


D. Plumb 


W. Swazey 

C. Chittenden 

J Reynolds 

L. Gunn 

T. Thorp 


I. Abbott 


Samuel Cochran 

C. C. Keys 


B. Hibbard 

Gad N. Smith 


J. Dayton 


S. W. Scofield 


Samuel Cochran 

S. W. Scofield 

Cyrus Culver 


Thomas Ellis 

E. P. Jacob 

Jason Wells 

J. J. Matthias 


S. W. Law 


Datus Ensign 

Francis Donnelly 

Ezekiel Canfield 


Lewis Gunn 

Nathan Emory 

S. W. Scofield 


Smith Dayton 


Jason Wells 

E. Washburne 

Thomas Geralds 


Smith Dayton 


David L. Marks 






David L. Marks 


W. L. Douglas 


William Dixon 

1845- I 846 

John Cromlish 

1880- I 88 I 

Joseph Henson 

I 847- I 848 

T. I .Watt 

I 882- I 883 

William B. Hoyt 


Robert Wasson 


Nathan C. Lewis 


Benjamin F. Skidder 


H. N. Weed 


James H. Lightbourn 


D. W. Lounsbury 


David MacMullin 


William Howard 


G. C. Spencer 


Albert Booth 

I 859- I 860 

George C. Boswell 


Joseph Vinton 


William H. Wakeham 


William Lawrence 

I 863- I 864 

William W. Gillies 


Joseph 0. Munson 

I 865- I 867 

William L. Miller 


Sylvester Smith 

I 868- I 870 

Robert W. Jones 


A. P. Chapman 


Ridgway F. Shinn 


James Taylor 

1872- I 873 

Charles S. Gray 


W. S. Morrison 


J. A. Swann 


George A. Graves 


William M. Warden 


W. H. McAllister 

I 877- I 878 

William B. Pruner 


b. Bantam. 

W. H. McMorris 

I 896- I 899 

M. Harwood 


T. A. Wade 

I 899- I 900 

H. S. Crossett 


D. V. Teed 


B. S. Miller 


A. H. Birch 

1900- I 902 

A. J. W. Mowatt 


A. R. Davies 

I 902- I 905 

E. L. Copley 


W. L Reed 

I 905 -I 906 

Robert Thorne 


J. B. Smith 

I 906- I 908 

H. A. Studwell 


4. Baptist Church, 
a. Bantam Falls. 

I 863- I 867 
I 876- I 878 
I 878- I 881 

E. B. Elms 
G. D. Reid 
Ray H. Legate 
J. L. Deming 
Herman Foster* 
C. W. Davis 

Jackson G. Ganun 

C. N. Potter 
J. Fairman 

D. F. Chapman 

E. D. Bowers 
H. G. Smith 

*Lay Preacher. 

5, Koman Catholic Church. 

a. Litchfield. St. Anthony's Parish. 
Visiting Missionary Priests. 

Rev. John Smith 1848 Rev. Thomas F. Hendricken 

Bishop O'Reilly 1851 Rev. Lawrence Mangan 

Rev. Philip Gillick 1853 Rev. Peter Kelly 

Pastors of Winsted in charge, 1861-1882. 
Rev. Daniel Mullen Father Leo da Saracena O. S. 

Rev. Philip Sheridan Father Anacletus O. F. M. 











Kesident Priests. 

Rev. M. Byrne 1882-1883 Rev. Patrick Finnegan 1889-1896 

Rev. Joseph Gleeson 1883-1885 Rev. Peter Skelly 1896-1910 

Rev. Timothy M. Sweeney 1885-1889 Rev. John L. McGuinness 1910- 


1. a. United States Senators. 

First Chosen 
Uriah Tracy 1796 Truman Smith 1849 

b. Members of U. S. Congress. 
Uriah Tracy 
John Allen 

Benjamin Tallmadge 

Uriel Holmes 

Jabez W. Huntington 

Phineas Miner 
Truman Smith 1839-1843, 
Origen S. Seymour 
George C. Woodruff 
John H. Hubbard 

I 834- I 83 5 


I 793- I 790 
I 829- I 835 
Edward W. Seymour 

2, a. Governors of Connecticut. 
Oliver Wolcott 1796-1797 Oliver Wolcott Jr. 

Charles B. Andrews 1879-1881 

b. Members of tlie Council. 

Elisha Sheldon 1761 Jedediah Strong 

Oliver Wolcott 1771 Tapping Reeve 

Andrew Adams 1781 John Allen 

Frederick Wolcott 1810 

c. Members of the State Senate. 

Elected by General Ticket. 

chosen yrs. 

John Welch 

ct System. 
Gideon H. Hollister 
Charles B. Andrews 
Edward W. Seymour 
Seth Pratt 
Edwin McNeill 

d. Members of the House of Representatives, 1740-1919. 
Two sessions were held yearly, May and October, indicated as 

(1) and (2), until 1819; one session was held yearly from 1819 to 
1887; since then sessions have been biennial. 
•^Members of a second May session held in I745- 

Frederick Wolcott 

1819 4 

Seth P. Beers 

1824 I 

Under Disti 

Phineas Miner 

I 830- I 83 I 

William Beebe 


Francis Bacon 


Charles Adams 


Charles 0. Belden 


J. Deming Perkins 



chosen yrs. 
1825 7 








Joseph Bird 

1740(1); 43(2)-45(i); *45(2)-46; 49(0- 

Ebenezer Marsh 

1740(1) ; 41-44(1) ; 45(1) ; 46; 48-52(1) ; 54; 55(2). 

58; 59(2)-66; 67(2)-68(i); 69; 17(1); 84; 85(2)- 

88; 90(1). 

John Bird 

1740(2); 43(1) ; 48. 

John Buel 

1740(2); 41 (i). 

Samuel Culver 


Jacob Griswold 


Edward Phelps 

1744 (2) -45(1); *45(2). 

Isaac Baldwin 

1745(1); 6i(2)-64(i); 65-66(1); 82(2); 84(1). 

Thomas Harrison 

1747; 49(2)-52(i); 53(2); 54 (2). 

Joseph Sanford 


Joseph Kilbourn 


Benjamin Webster 

i752(2)-54(i); 55 (I). 

Peter Buell 

1755(1); S6-57(i)- 

Elisha Sheldon 

1755(2) ; 57(2)-6i(i). 

Jacob Woodruff 

1759(1); 68(2). 

Oliver Wolcott 

1764(2); 67(1); 68(2); 70(2). 

John Marsh 

1766(2); 68(1); 71(1); 72(2); 74(0. 

Abraham Kilbourn 


David Welch 

1770(1); 72,; 74(2)-75(i); 80(2). 

Jedediah Strong 

i77i(2)-8o(i); 81-83(1); 85-86; 87(2)-88(i); 89. 

Lynde Lord 


Abraham Bradley 

i775(2)-76(i); 83(2); 85(1). 

Andrew Adams 


Bezaleel Beebe 

i78i(2)-82(i) ; 83(1) ; 92(2) ; 93(2) ; 95(2). 

Isaac Baldwin Jr. 

1783(2); 84(2). 

Ebenezer Benton 


Uriah Tracy 

i788(2)-92(i); 93(1). 

Julius Deming 

1790(2) -91(1); 98(1). 

Ephraim Kirby 

i79i(2)-92(i) ; 94-95(1); 97; 98(2)-i8oi(i). 

Solomon Marsh 


John Allen 

1793-95(1) ; 96. 

Moses Seymour 

i795(2)-97; 98(2)-99(i) ; 1801 ; 02(2) ; 06(1) ; 10-12(1) 

James Morris 

1798(1); 1800(2); 02(1); 03-05(2). 

John Welch 

i799(2)-i8oo(i) ; 01(2). 

Frederick Wolcott 

1802(1) ; 03(1). 

Uriel Holmes 

1803 (2) -05; 06(2) -07; 14 (2). 

Norman Buel 


Aaron Bradley 

i8o6(2)-o8(i) ; 10. 

Aaron Smith 

1808-09; 11-14(1). 

Nathaniel Goodwin 

1808 (2) -09. 

Morris Woodruff 

i8i2(2)-is(i) ; 24-26; 29-30; 36-37. 

William Beebe 

i8i5(i)-i6; 27-28; 33. 

Jonathan Buel 


Ephraim S. Hall 


Stephen Russell 

1818; 30-31; 34- 

Phineas Lord 

i8i8(2)-i9; 36-37. 



Seth P. Beers 
Phineas Miner 
David Marsh 
Reuben Webster 
Jabez W. Huntington 
Truman Smith 
Elihu Harrison 
Asa Hopkins 
Samuel Buel 
William Ray 
Frederick Buel 
E. Champion Bacon 
Origen S. Seymour 
Enos Stoddard 
Elisha S. Abernethy 
Dan Catlin 
Charles Adams 
George Seymour 
Samuel P. BoUes 
William L. Smedley 
Christopher Wheeler 
George C. Woodruff 
Thomas M. Coe 
Josiah G. Beckwith 
William Newton 
Philip S. Beebe 
Samuel Brooker Jr. 
Garry H. Minor 
Edward Pierpont 
Henry B. Graves 
William Bissell 
Edward W. Seymour 
Daniel Stoddard 
George H. Baldwin 
Jacob Morse 
George A. Hickox 
George M. Woodruff 
Everett H. Wright 
T. R. Sedgwick 
D. E. Bostwick 
T. L. Saltonstall 
Eli D. Weeks 
T. Leander Jennings 
J. B. Hopkins 
Henry Frisbie 
N. W. Beach 
Ransom Newton 
Julius Deming 


1823 ; 27 ; 29 ; 35. 

824-25; 46-47. 



831-32; 34. 

832; 35- 




840-41; 54. 


842-43; 49-50; 1881. 






848; 54- 



851; 66; 74. 


852-53; 56-57; 69. 


855; 62. 




858; 67-68; 76-77; 79; 

858-59; 78. 

859-60; 70-71. 




862; 89. 

863; 65; 72. 





867; IT, 1913. 









Charles D. Wheeler 


James B. Newcomb 


William Deming 


Garner B. Curtiss 



Charles B. Andrews 


Leverett W. Wessells 



Gideon H. Hollister 


Harry demons 



Frederick S. Porter 


Willis J. Beach 


F. Ratchford Starr 


William H. Doyle 



Edward E. Champlin 



Alvah A. Stone 


Asahel Morse 


Seth Pratt 


Frank A. Shepard 


Walter S. Judd 



William T. Marsh 


93; 95; 1907. 

George Kenney 


George W. Mason 


James P. Woodruff 



John H. Harrigan 


John T. Hubbard 

1901 ; 


Fred'k A. Stoddard 

1901 ; 


Samuel Trumbull 


Francis M. Coe 


James T. Sedgwick 


11; 13- 

John W. Ravenscroft 

1911 ; 


W. Burton Allen 


Winfield S. Rogers 


Fremont M. Granniss 

' 1917. 

Willis 0. Perkins 


George C. Ives 


e. Delegates to Constitutional Conventions. 

Oliver Wolcott Jr.* 1818 Charles B. Andrews* 1902 

Seth P. Beers 1818 *President. 

3. a. Judges of Superior Court and Supreme Court of Errors. 

Andrew Adams 1789-1798 J. W. Huntington 1834-1840 

Tapping Reeve 1798-1815 Origen S. Seymour 1855-63 ;i870-i874 

James Gould 1816-1819 Charles B. Andrews 1882-1901 

Samuel Church 1833-1854 Edward W. Seymour 1889-1892 

b. Chief Justices of the Supreme Court of Errors. 

Andrew Adams 1793-1798 Samuel Church 1847-1854 

Tapping Reeve 1814-1815 Origen S. Seymour 1873-1874 

Charles B. Andrews 1889-1901 

Hon. James P. Woodruff, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, 1Q20 



c. Presiding Judges of tlie Court of Common Pleas. 

County of Litchfield. 

Previous to 1819, this Court consisted of one Presiding Judge 
and four Associate Judges, called "Justices of the Quorum". From 
1819 to 1839, there were but two Associate Judges, instead of four. 
From 1839 till the abolition of the Court in 1855, there were no 
Associate Judges — the County Commissioners being their successors. 
Oliver Wolcott 1773-1786 Elisha S. Abernethy 1846-1847 

d. Associate Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. 



Ebenezer Marsh 


Uriel Holmes 


Elisha Sheldon 


John Welch 


Jedediah Strong 


Morris Woodruff 






e. Judges of the Court of Common Pleas. 
The Court of Common Pleas was re-established in 1883. 
James P. Woodruff 1914- 

f. Judges of 
District organized 
Legislature until 1851. 

Ebenezer Marsh 
Oliver Wolcott 
Frederick Wolcott 
Elisha S. Abernethy 
Phineas Miner 
Ralph G. Camp 
Elisha S. Abernethy 
Ralph G. Camp 
Elisha S. Abernethy 
Charles Adams 
Oliver A. G. Todd 
Henry B. Graves 


g. Commissioners of the 

First Chosen 

Seth P. Beers 
Frederick D. Beeman 
John H. Hubbard 
P. K. Kilbourne 
William L. Ransom 
Edward W. Seymour 
William F. Baldwin 
Henry M. Dutton 
George M. Woodruff 
G, H. Hollister 

Probate, District of Litchfield, 
in 1747. Judges appointed annually by the 
Since elected annually by the People. 

1747-1772 Oliver A. G. Todd 1852-1853 

1772-1796 George C. Woodruff 1853-1854 

1796-1837 Charles Adams 1854-1857 

1837-1838 George C. Woodruff 1857-1858 

1838-1840 Charles Adams 1858-1868 

1840-1842 George H. Baldwin 1868-1869 

1842-1844 George M. Woodruff 1869-1872 

1844-1846 Henry R. Morrill 1872-1873 

1846-1847 George M. Woodruff 1873-1906 

1847-1850 James P. Woodruff 1906-1907 

1850-1851 John T. Hubbard 1907-1913 

1851-1852 Thomas F. Ryan 1913-1915 
T. Hubbard 1915- 

Superior Court from Litchfield. 

First Chosen 

Jason Whiting 1862 

D. C. Kilbourn 1867 

J. G. Beckwith 1867 

Charles O. Belden 1869 

Charles Adams 1869 

H. R. Morrill 1870 

i860 F. S. Porter 1870 

i860 John R. Farnum 187 1 

i860 Charles H. Henry 1872 

1862 B. J. Smith 1872^ 



Henry M. Dutton 
George M. Woodruff 
Edwin B. Webster 
Charles D. Wheeler 
Aaron Baldwin 
William Coe 
Henry S. Griswold 
S. H. Dudley 
F. A. Marsh 
A. J. Pierpont 

F. S. Porter 
James Richards 
Charles B. Andrews 
George Guernsey 
Chester Goslee 
David Stoddard 
Garry G. Porter 
Charles Booth 

L. T. Gilbert 
J. B. Hopkins 
Dwight C. Kilbourn 
S. O. Meafoy 
John McNeil 

E. P. Moulthrop 

T. Leander Jennings 
Eli D. Weeks 
Seth Pond 
Frederick Chittenden 

G. W. Bement 
Thomas M. Saltonstall 
G. B. Curtiss 

A. B. Hallock 
Elbert G. Roberts 
S. B. Johnson 
Henry R. Morrill 
J. R. Farnum 
Noah W. Beach 
Samuel G. Beach 
Darius P. Griswold 
John A. Hall 
William Deming 
D. G. Turney 
Howard Catlin 
Henry Morse 

F. W. Wessells 
Anson C. Smith 
Charles B. Anderson 
D. C. Griswold 
Willis G. Barton 







C. Merriman 
Francis N. Barton 
Horatio P. Griswold 
Henry H. Prescott 
Charles C. Moore 
Isaac Hutchinson 
Walter S. Judd 
Holmes O. Morse 
Eugene M. Meafoy 
Isaac B. Pond 
Charles I. Page 
Francis N. Benton 
Charles F. Baldwin 
John T. Hubbard 
Frederick Koehler 
Elbert P. Roberts 
Charles L. Blake 
Arthur Morse 
Leonard L. Munson 
Charles B. Bishop 
Frank M. Barnes 
Arthur D. Catlin 
Henry S. Coe 
George W. Mason 
Henry B. Peck 
Chester Thomas 
Edgar F. Wedge 
Frank H. Earle 
Thomas Hinchliff 
Sidney D. Moore 
Clifford C. Newbury 
Henry T. Peck 
Robert L .Rochfort 
Marcus D. F. Smith 
Charles W. Talcott 
Charles D. Burrill 
Patrick C. Burke 
James P. Catlin 
Cornelius R. Duffie Jr. 
Charles D. Kilbourn 
L. L. Munson 
William H. Plumb 
Henry W. Wessells 
James P. Woodruff 
Charles W. Biglow 
Henry L. Coe 
Samuel J. Cone 
Ithamar T. Dickinson 
Hiram N. French 

Mtss Cornelia B. Smith, Clerical Assistant 
TO THE Clerk of the Superior Court, 1920 

•^Sfes. -A-^^ 




John H. Harrigan 


Frank B. Mason 


Lewis C. Hotchkiss 


Elgin G. Clock 


James H. Morse 


Charles S. Nearing 


William J. Hall 


Walter E. Seelye 


John Hurley 


Job H. Scott 


Charles R. Iffland 


Edgar D. Beach 


William T. Marsh 


Willis 0. Perkins 


Edward Donohue 


George H. Hunt 


Wheaton F. Dowd 


William Gibbs 


Frederick S. Stoddard 


John H. Lancaster 


Almon B. Webster 


Charles D. Kilbourn 


Frederick A. Blatz 


Winfield S. Rogers 


Frank H. Earle 


Frederick L. Tharp 


Edward T. Harris 


George C. Woodruff 


David Johnson 


Lyman J. Booth 


John J. Karl 


F. North Clark 


Thomas F. Ryan 


William L. Ravenscroft 



L. Vanderpoel 1918 

5. a. Sheriffs of Litchfield County. 

First Chosen 

First Chosen 

Oliver Wolcott 


Albert Sedgwick 


Lynde Lord 


Leverett W. Wessells 


John R. Landon 


Henry A. Botsford 


Moses Seymour Jr. 


George H. Baldwin 


Ozias Seymour 


Frank H. Turkington 


b. Clerks of 

the Superior Court. 

Isaac Baldwin 


Frederick D. Beeman 


Frederick Wolcott 


Henry B. Graves 


Origen S. Seymour 

I 836- I 844 

Frederick D. Beeman 


Gideon H. Hollister 

I 844- I 846 

William L. Ransom 

1 860- 1 887 

Origen S. Seymour 

I 846- I 847 

Dwight C. Kilbourn 


Gideon H. Hollister 


Wheaton F. Dowd 


c. County Treasurers. 

John Catlin 


George A. Hickox 


Elisha Sheldon 


William C. Buel 


Reuben Smith 


George E. Jones 


Julius Deming 


Charles E. Wilson 


Abel Catlin 


Frank W. Humphrey 


Charles L. Webb 


Philip P. Hubbard 


d. Prosecuting Attorneys. 

King's Attorneys. 

Reynold Marvin 1764 Andrew Adams 




State's Attorneys. 

Andrew Adams 

Uriel Holmes Jr. 

Tapping Reeve 


Seth P. Beers 


Uriah Tracy 


Samuel Church 


John Allen 


David C. Sanford 


Daniel W. Lewis 

John H. Hubbard 


e. County 


Stephen Deming 


John J. Karl 


William F. Baldwin 


W. J. Bissell 


John H. Lancaster 


6. a. Selectmen. 

First Chosen 

First Chosen 

John Marsh 


John Marsh 


Joseph Kilbourn 


Solomon Buel 


Jacob Griswold 


Archibald McNeill 


John Buel 


John Farnham 


Joseph Bird 


Josiah Grant 


Samuel Culver 


Nathaniel Culver 


David Baldwin 


Abel Barnes 


John Gay 


Jacob Woodruff 


Joshua Garrett 


Oliver Wolcott 

1 761 

Josiah Walker 


Joseph Mason Jr. 


Joseph Mason 


Reynold Marvin 


Daniel Allen 


Timothy Collins 


Joseph Gillett 


Lynde Lord 


Benjamin Webster 


Mark Prindle 


Edward Phelps 


David Welch 


Joseph Kilbourn Jr. 


Seth Bird 


Ebenezer Marsh 


John Osbom 


Joseph Sanford 


Jedediah Strong 


Moses Stoddard 


Abraham Bradley 


John Catlin 


Reuben Smith 


Supply Strong 


A. Buel 


Joseph Birge 


Miles Beach 


James Kilbourn 


Bryant Stoddard 


Abraham Kilbourn 


Bezaleel Beebe 


Thomas Harrison 


Archibald McNeil Jr. 


Peter Buel 


Jonah Sanford 


A. Goodwin 


John Stoddard 


William Marsh 


Jesse Kilbourn 


Thomas Catlin 


Isaac Baldwin 


Samuel Beach 


James Stoddard 


Isaac Bissell 


Heber Stone 


Daniel Landon 


Timothy Skinner 


Ezra Plumb 


Elihu Harrison 


Elisha Sheldon 


Roger Marsh 


Ebenezer Taylor 


Seth Landon 


Benjamin Gibbs 


Philemon Murray 


John H. Lancaster, County Commissioner, 1920 




Roger N. Whittlesey ] 


George M. Buel 


Noah (?) Garnsey ] 


Rufus Pickett 


Julius Deming ] 


John Garnsey 


David Kilbourn ] 


Tomlinson Wells 


Ozias Lewis i 


Levi Frisbie 


Nathaniel Goodwin i 


Albert Sedgwick 


Samuel Seymour 


Samuel Wright 


John Landon ] 


George Dewey 


James Marsh ] 


Abner Landon 


John Welch ] 


Edward Pierpont 


Ephraim Kirby 


John A. Oviatt 


Stephen San ford 


William Coe 


Norman Buel 


Isaac Tuttle 


Aaron Bradley 


Henry S. Griswold 


Aaron Smith 


Norman Kilbourn 


Peter Sherman 


Jason Whiting 


Ephraim S. Hall 


Eli Curtis 


Jonathan Buel ] 


Truman Gilbert 

1 841 

James Birge 


David Benton 


Peck Clark 


Reuben M. Woodruff 


Stephen Russell 


Sidney Peck 


Phineas Lord 


William Bissell 


Joseph Birge 


Edward Garnsey 


Ozias Lewis Jr. 


Charles Jones 


Philo Moss 


Prentice Parkhurst 


Simeon Sanford 


Heman Beach 


David Westover 


Frederick Buel 


Samuel A. Merwin 


Henry R. Goslee 


Enos Stoddard 


Lyman Webster 


Morris WoodruflF 


William Newton 


Levi Catlin 


Stephen Moss 


David Marsh 


Jacob Morse 


Julius Griswold 


Murray Kenney 


Reuben Webster 


Josiah G. Beckwith 


Charles Seymour 


Sherman P. Woodward 


William Beebe 


'Henry Frisbie 


Benjamin Griswold ] 


Willis Stone 


John Bird 


George A. Smith 


Stephen Deming 


Frederick M. Blakeslee 


Gad Guild 


A. S. Lewis 


Ashbel Wessells 


Levi Heaton 


Roswell Harrison 


Abraham C. Smith 


William Harrison 


Andrew W. Marsh 


Asa Hopkins 


Jacob Morse Jr. 


Isaac Newton 


Anson C. Smith 


William Tuttle 


Daniel Stoddard 


Putnam Kilbourn 


Garry H. Minor 


Samuel P. Bolles 


Royal A. Ford 




Edward Hopkins 


Russell W. Fitch 


Isaac Morse 


J. K. Adams 


Everett H. Wright 


Ithamar T. Dickinson 


George H. Baldwin 


Moses W. Doyle 


George Guernsey 


Charles Merriman 


Joseph A. Newbury 


Fremont M. Grannis 


Garner B. Curtiss 


Samuel Trumbull 


Erastus Moulthrop 


Newton G. Tyler 


Charles D. Wheeler 


John L. Plumb 


Andrew J. Pierpont 


Fred F. Clark 


Chester C. Goslee 


Christian B. Iffland 


Francis M, Hale 


Patrick C. Burke 


Horace Nichols 


Edgar D. Beach 


Frederick B. Hand 


Louis J. Goodman 


Charles Adams 


George W. demons 


Anson B. Beach 


Edward Crutch 


Harry demons 


William H. Plumb 


CliflFord C. Newbury 


Edward T. Harris 


Frederick S. Porter 


William Gibbs 


John McNeill 


Robert J. Landon 


Darius C. Griswold 


Truman Catlin 


Theodore S. Sedgwick 


Charles L. Dudley 


William R. Keeler 


Edson L. Perkins 


Lewis C. Hotchkiss 


Terrance B. Doyle 


Charles T. Page 


William T. Marsh 


Malachi Tracy 


George H. Hunt 


Thomas C. Goslee 


William T. Doyle 


William J. Hall 


Leman S. Brundage 


Jerome D. Wheeler 


Hector M. Richards 


H. G. Tyler 


George R. Crutch 


Charles B. Bishop 


Henry T. Weeks 


Cornelius Murphy 


William M. Murphy 


b. Town Clerks. 

John Marsh 


George H. Baldwin 



John Bird 


Charles J. Deming* 


Joseph Bird 

I 735-1736 

E. Grossman 



John Bird 


George M. Woodruff 



Joshua Garrett 


Charles 0. Belden 



Isaac Baldwin 


Willis J. Beach 



Jedediah Strong 

I 773- I 789 

Charles C. Moore 



Moses Seymour 

I 789-1826 

George C. Woodruff 



Elihu Harrison 


Walter S. Judd 



Samuel P. Bolles 


Edward E. Champlin 



Sylvester Galpin 


John J. Karl 



Samuel P. Bolles 


George H. Hunt 


Charles O. Belden 


Charles A. Hickox 



George H. Hunt, Town Clerk, 1920 




c. Town Treasurers. 

John Bird 


Ebenezer Marsh 


Joseph Bird 


James Gould 


John Buel 


Samuel Buel 


William Marsh 


Isaac Lawrence 


Supply Strong 


George Dewey 


Joshua Garrett 

I 763- I 768 

George C. Woodruff 


Reuben Smith 

I 768- I 770 

Francis Bacon 


Abraham Bradley 

I 770- I 776 

George C. Woodruff 


William Stanton* 


Frederick D. Beeman 


Samuel Lyman 


Lemuel 0. Meafoy 


Reuben Smith 


William F. Baldwin 


Abraham Bradley 


Frederick D. McNeill 


Moses Seymour 


George M. Woodruff 


Ebenezer Marsh 


Frank W. Humphrey 


Timothy Skinner 

I 790- I 792 

Philip P. Hubbard 


Abraham Bradley - 

I 792-1794 

Benjamin Tallmadge 



d. Postmasters. 

1. Litchfield. 



Benjamin Tallmadge 


Riverius Marsh 


Frederick Wolcott 

Howard E. Gates 


Moses Seymour Jr. 

Willis J. Beach 


Charles Seymour 

Seth Pratt 


George C. Woodruff 

Julius Deming 


Jason Whiting 

Almon E. Fuller 


Reuben M. Woodruff 

Seth Pratt 


Leverett W. Wessells 

Rudolph Karl 


George H. Baldwin 


Thomas F. Ryan 


2. Northfield. 

Daniel Catlin 


Frederick S. Porter 

Samuel Merwin 

J. Howard Catlin 


William Newton 

Leonard L. Munson 


Levi Heaton 

James P. Catlin 


John Catlin 


J. Howard Catlin 


3. Bantam. 

William S. Plumb 
William P. Grossman 

Julia M. Buell 
William P. Grossman 


George W. Fairgrieve 





1. Original Proprietors. 
This list contains the names of all the "original proprietors" 
of the township. 

From Hartford: 
*John Marsh (2 Rights) 
Samuel Sedgwick Jr. 
Nathaniel Goodwin 
Timothy Seymour 
*Paul Jeck Jr. 
*Jofeeph Mason 

Nathaniel Messenger 
^Benjamin Webster 
*Joshua Garrett 
Windsor : 
Samuel Forward 
Thomas Griswold Jr. 
*Jacob Gibbs 
*Joscph Birge 
*Benjamin Hosford 
Farmington : 
John Hart 
Timothy Stanley 
*John Bird 
*Joseph Bird 
Samuel Lewis 
Ebenezer Woodruff 
Samuel Root 
Nathaniel Winchell 
Hezekiah Winchell 
Colchester : 
*Joseph Gillett 
New Milford : 
Jonathan Buck 

W ether sfield : 
*William Goodrich Jr. 
*John Stoddard 
*Ezekiel Buck 
*Jacob Griswold 

'Lebanon : 
*John Buel (2 Rights) 

Edward Culver 
*Hezekiah Culver 
*Thomas Lee 
*Eleazer Strong 
*Supply Strong 

Caleb Chapel, (2 Rights) 
*Thomas Treadway 

John Caulkins 
Stratford : 

Ezekiel Sanford (2 Rights) 
*Nathan Mitchell 
*Thomas Pier 

John Mann 

Joseph Peet 

Samuel Somers 
Taunton, Ms. : 
*Nath'I Smith (2 Rights) 

John Collins 

Ephraim French 

Woodbury : 

*Josiah Walker 

*Samuel Orton 

*Joseph Waller 

Isaac Judson 

*These proprietors became settlers in the town. The Eights 
of a few others were settled upon by the sons of the first purchasers ; 
others sold out their interest to persons who became permanent; 
while a few forfeited their shares by neglecting to comply with the 
terms of the purchase. 

2. First Settlers. 
The following are the names of those who are regarded as "first 
settlers" — or persons who became residents of the town during the 
first three years of settlement: 

Nehemiah Allen, Coventry Joseph Bird, Farmington 

Joseph Birge, Windsor John Bird, Farmington 



Samuel Beebe, Danbury 
John Baldwin, Stratford 
Ezekiel Buck, Wethersfield 
John Buel, Lebanon 
Daniel Culver, Lebanon 
Samuel Culver,Lebanon 
Hezekiah Culver, Lebanon 
Timothy Collins, Guilford 
John Catlin, Hartford 
James Church, Hartford 
Joseph Gillett, Colchester 
Abraham Goodwin, Hartford 
Joshua Garritt, Hartford 
William Goodrich, Wethersfield 
Jacob Griswold, Wethersfield 
John Gay, Dedham, Ms. 
Benjamin Gibbs; Windsor 
Jacob Gibbs, Windsor 
Benjamin Hosford, Windsor 
Joseph Harris, Middletown 
Joseph Kilbourn, Wethersfield 

Thomas Lee, Lebanon 
John Marsh, Hartford 
Joseph Mason, Hartford 
Nathan Mitchell, Stratford 
Samuel Orton, Woodbury 
Edward Phelps, Windsor 
Thomas Pier, Stratford 
Paul Peck Jr., Hartford 
John Peck, Hartford 
John Stoddard, Wethersfield 
Eleazer Strong Lebanon 
Supply Strong, Lebanon 
Joseph Sanford, Stratford 
Lemuel Sanford, Straford 
Nathaniel Smith, Taunton, Ms. 
John Smith, Taunton, Ms. 
Samuel Smedley, Woodbury 
Thomas Treadway, Lebanon 
Benjamin Webster, Hartford 
Josiah Walker, Woodbury 
Joseph Waller, Woodbury 

Nathaniel WoodruflF, Farmington 

3. List of Students at tlie Law School, selected from the 805 
names in the catalogues of 1828, 1831, 1849, with the 
public offices held by them. 

No register of the students at the Law School prior to 1798 
has been preserved, though it is said that the nmnber up to that 
time was 210, and we know that many of these were of distinction 
at least equal to any in the following list. 

Date Entered. 

1798 Henry W. Edwards, Conn : U. S. Senator and Gov. of Conn. 

1798 Horatio Seymour, Conn. : U. S. Senator Vt., LL.D. 

1798 Daniel Sheldon, Conn. : Sec'y of Legation to France. 

1798 Henry Baldwin, Conn. : Judge Sup. Ct, U. S. Member of Cong., Penn. 

1798 Richard Skinner, Conn. : Chief Justice, and Gov. of Vt. 

1800 Joseph L. Smith, Conn. : Judgq, East Florida. 

1801 Joseph Barnes, Mass. : Judge, Penn. 
1801 Benjamin Swift, Vt. : U. S. Senator. 
1801 Ogden Edwards, Conn. : Judge, N. Y. 

1801 EHsha Phelps, Conn. : Member of Congress. 

1802 William Woodbridge, Ohio: U. S. Senator. 

1803 Eldred Simkins, S. C. : Lieut, Gov. of S. C, and Member of Congress. 

1803 Seth P. Beers, Conn. : Speaker H. R. Conn, and Com. of School Fund. 

1804 Alfred Cuthbert, Ga. : Member of Congress and U. S. Senator. 

1805 John M. Felder, S. C. : Member of Congress. 

180S John C. Calhoun, S. C. : Member of Cong, and Sen., Sec'y of War, 
Sec'y of State, and Vice Pres. U. S., LL.D. 


i8os John A. Collier, Conn, : Member of Congress, N. Y. 

1805 Lemuel Whitman, Conn.: Member of Congress. 

1805 Samuel Howe, Mass.: Judgei, Mass. 

1805 Virgil Maxcy, Md. : Charge d'Affaires to Belgium. 

1806 Samuel Church, Conn.: Chief Jus. of Conn., LL.D. 

1806 Marcus Morton, Mass. : Judge Sup. Court, Lieut. Gov. and Gov. Mass. 

1806 Theron Metcalfe Mass.: Judge Sup. Court, Mass. 

1806 Royal Hinman, Conn.: Secretary of State, Conn. 

1806 Joel Crawford, Ga. : Member of Congress. 

1807 Timothy H. Porter, N. H. : Member of Congress. 
1807 Perry Smith, Conn. : U. S. Senator. 

1807 Moulton C. Rogers, Del. : Judge, Penn. 

1807 John A. Cuthbert, Ga. : Member of Congress. 

1808 Jabez W. Huntington, Conn. : Member of Congress and U. S. Senator, 

Judge Sup. Court, Conn. 

1808 Charles De Menou, Md. : Charge d'Affaires of France at Washington. 

1808 Silas Robbinsi, Conn. : Judge, Kentucky. 

1808 John P. Cushman, Conn. : Member of Congress, and Judge, N. Y. 

1808 Jonathan Hunt, Conn.: Member of Congress. 
i8og Ebenezer Young, Conn. : Member of Congress. 

1809 Levi Woodbury, N. H. : Judge and Gov. N. H., U. S. Senator, Sec. 

of Navy and Treas., Judge Sup. Court, U. S. 
i8og John Pierponts, Conn.: Clergyman, Poet. 
1809 Henry W. Dwight, Mass. : Member of Congress. 

1809 William Tenney, N. H. : Memb er of Congress. 

1810 William D. Martin, S. C. : Member of Congress. 

1810 Garrick Mallery, Penn.: Judge of Sup. Court, Penn., LL.D. 

1810 William C. Gibbs, R. L: Gov. R. L 

1810 Charles S. Todd, Ky. : Minister to Russia. 

1810 Edward F. Tatnall, Ga. : Member of Congress. 

1810 James Booth, jun., Del.: Chief Justice of Delaware. 

1810 Henry Shaw, N. Y. : Member of Congress. 

1810 James G. King, N. Y. : Member of Congress. 

181 1 William W. Ellsworth, Conn.: Member of Congress, Judge Sup. Court, 

Gov. Conn., LL.D. 
181 1 Milo L. Bennett, Conn.: Judge Sup. Court, Vermont, LL.D. 
181 1 Henry L. Ellsworth, Conn.: Commissioner of Patents, U. S. 
1811 Frederick Augustus Tallmadge, Conn.: Member of Congress, N. Y., 

Recorder City of N. Y. 
181 1 Samuel S. Phelps., Conn.: Judge Sup. Court, Vermont, U. S. Senator. 

181 1 Andrew D. W. Bruyn, N. Y. : Member of Congress. 

1812 Benjamin Howard, Md. : Member of Congress. 
1812 George B. Holt, Conn.: Judge, Ohio. 

1812 Abraham Hasbrook: Member of Congress N. Y., Pres. Rutgers Col- 
lege, N. J., LL.D. 
1812 George B. Porter, Penn.: Gov. Michigan. 
1812 Isaac T. Preston, Vir. : Judge Sup. Court, Louisiana. 
1812 Kensey Johns, jun., Del: Member of Congress, Chanc. of Delaware. 


1812 Roger Sherman Baldwin^ Conn.: Gov. Conn., U. S. Senator, LL.D. 

1812 Albert C. Greene, R. I. : U. S. Senator. 

1813 Edward King, N. Y. : Speaker House of Rep., Ohio. 
1813 Oliver S. Halsted, N. J.: Chancellor of New Jersey. 
1813 Elisha Whittlesey, Conn.: Member of Congress. 
1813 Peleg Sprague, Mass.: U. S. Senator. 

1813 Augustus B. Longstreet, Ga. : Judge Sup. Court Ga., LL.D., Pres. of 

University of Miss., and College of S. C. 
1813 Charles Hawley, Conn.: Lieut. Gov. Conn. 

1813 Moses Chapin, Mass. : Judge New York Court. 

1814 Chester Ashley, N, Y. : U. S. Senator. 

1814 Ebenezer Jackson, Jun., Ga. : Member of Congress. 

1814 Timothy Childs, Jun., Mass. : Member of Congress 

1814 John C. Nicholl, Ga. : Judge Sup. Court Ga., and U. S. Dist. Judge. 

1815 John Pitcher, N. Y. : Lieut. Gov. N. Y. 

181 5 William S. Holabird, Conn. : Lieut. Gov. Conn. 

1816 Thomas F. Foster, Ga. : Member of Congress. 
1816 Thaddeus G. Holt, Ga. : Judge Sup. Court, Ga. 

1816 WiUiam W. Boardman, Conn.: Member of Congress. 

1817 John M. Clayton, Del. : Chief Jus. Del., U. S. Sen,, Sec. of State, LL.D. 
1817 Truman Smith, Conn.: Member of Congress and U. S. Senator. 
1817 Lucius Q. C. Lamar, Ga. : Judge Supreme Court, Ga. 

1817 Hiram P. Hunt, N. Y. : Member of Congress. 

1817 William C. Dawson, Ga. : Judge of Sup. Ct. Ga., U. S. Cong, and Sen. 

1817 Charles H. Carroll, N, Y. : Member of Congress. 

1817 John Y. Mason, Vir. : Mem. of Cong., Dist. Judge, Gov., Sec. of Navy. 

1818 Charles Chapman, Conn.: U. S. Attorney for Conn. 
1818 William T. Gould, Conn.: Judge Georgia. 

i8;8 Walter S. Franklin, Penn. : Clerk H. R., U. S. 

1818 Chester P. Butler, Penn.: Member of Congress. 

1818 Thomas T. Whittlesey, Conn.: Member of Congress. 

1818 Eli H. Baxter, Ga. : Judge Circuit Court. 

1819 William B. Lawrence, N. Y. : Charge d' Affaires at London. 

1819 Frederick Whittlesey, Conn.: Member of Cong., Vice Chanc. and 
Judge Sup. Court, N. Y. 

1819 Hopkins Halsey, Ga. : Member of Congress. 

1820 Samuel W. Oliver, Ga. : Speaker H. R., Ala. 
1820 Noyes Billings, Conn. : Lieut. Gov., Conn. 

1822 Horace Mann, Mass.: Member of Congress, Educator. 

1822 Theron R. Strong, Conn. : Member of Cong., Judge Sup. Court, N. Y. 

1823 Thomas Kinnecut, Mass. : Lieut. Gov. Mass. 

1823 Eugenius A. Nesbitt, Ga. : Member of Congress, Judge Sup. Court, Ga. 

1823 Washington Poe, Ga. : Member of Congress. 

1823 William J. Bacon, N. Y. : Judge Sup. Court. 

1823 Henry W. Greene, R. I. : Chief Jus. Sup. Court, and Chanc. of N. J. 

1823 John M. Holley, Jun., Conn. : Member of Congress. 

1824 John P. Jackson, N. J.: Speaker H. R., New Jersey. 
1824 William V. Peck, Conn. : Judge Ohio. 


1824 Samuel Ames, R. I. : Chief Justice R. I. 

1824 Origen S. Seymour, Conn. : Member of Congress, Judge Sup. Court 

and Supreme Court of Errors, Chief Justice of Conn., LL.D. 

1825 Elias W. Leavenworth, Mass. : Sec. of State, N. Y.„ Member Cong. 
1825 Josiah Sutherland, Jun*, N. Y. : Mem. Cong., Judge Sup. Court, N. Y. 
1825 Anson V. Parsons, Mass. : Judge Sup. Court, Penn. 

1825 George C. Woodruff, Conn. : Member of Congress. 

1825 John Pierpont, Conn. : Chief Justice, Vermont. 

1826 Willis Hall, N. Y.: Attorney General, N. Y. 

1826 William D. Pickett, N. C. : Judge Sup. Court, Ala. 

1827 George S. Catlin, Conn. : Member of Congress. 
1827 George Gould, Conn. : Judge Sup. Court, N. Y. 

1827 Augustus C. Hand, Vt. : Judge Sup. Courts N. Y. 

1828 George W. Clinton, N. Y. : U. S. Attorney. 

1828 Henry P. Edwards, Conn, : Judge Sup. Court, N. Y. 

1829 Gideon Hall, Conn. : Judge Sup. Court. 

1829 Henry W. Seymour, Conn.: Member of Congress, Minis, to Russia. 

1830 Ward E. Hunt^ N. Y. : Judge Ct. of Appeals, N. Y., U. S. Supreme Ct. 

1830 Lewis B. Woodruff, Conn. : Judge Sup. Court, N. Y., Court of Appeals, 

Circuit Judge U. S. for Districts N. Y., Conn, and Vt. 

1831 Philo C. Sedgwick, Conn. : Sec'y of State of Conn. 
1833 Augustus R. Wright, Ga. : Judge Sup. Court, Ga. 


Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe — Smith, Ralph P. and Harris, Thomas 1892 

Whitehill, W. W. and Son 19" 

The Gift Shop— Sanford^ Miss Margaret S. ' 1919 


Johnson, Carroll IQIP 

Bantam Auto Repair Shop— Baldwin, J. W. and Phelps, E. O. Bantam 1919 

(Successors to Fljmn & Doyle) 

Cowan, Joseph 1917. Parsons, E. D., Bantam 1916 


Brunetto, M. A., Bantam 1916 Mayer, Joseph 1900 

Sepples, William 1914 


Brennan, Patrick 1917 Morse, W. Beach 1913 

(Successor to A. K. Taylor) 



Newcomb & Barber— Newcomb, F. U. and Barber, C. P. 1918 

(Successors to Marsh & Newcomb) 

Donohue, Thomas 1867 Guinchi, Mrs. A. 1906 

The Palace Confectionery— Theophilos, George 1905 

Deacon, George D. 1913 Landon, Robert J., Bantam 1895 

Hotchkiss, Fdk. A., Bantam 1900 Switzer, George J. 1894 

Schusters Wolf 1910 

Da Ross, John 1912 Dean, George B. 1880 

Beach, Milo D. 1900 

Fenn, H. H. 1888 Spain, William C 1918 


Buel, John L. 1890 Page, Charles I. Jr. 1897 

Deming, Nelson L. 1907 Sedgwick, James T. 1887 

Marcy, Robert A. 1908 Turkington, Charles H. 1910 

Warner, Charles N. 1897 

Crutch & Marley — Crutch, Aaron and Marley, William 1918 

(Successors to Crutch's Pharmacy) 
Wheeler Drug Co. — Kaehrle, Alfred; Sepples, John and Sepples, 

Richard (Successors to Wheeler's Pharmacy, established 1870) 1918 


Bissell, W. Jerome 1888 Granniss, W. G. 1881 

(Successor to Granniss & Elmore) 

The Progressive Printery — Smith, Sheldon, Bantam 1919 

Litchfield Enquirer — Woodruff, George C. 1894 

Morse, Harry B. 1915 Turkington, William E. 1907 

Moraghan, Martin J. 1909 


Mattson, Clifford C. 1918 


Brunetto, M. A. (Successor to Eugene Small)v Bantam 1916 


Smith, George A. (Successor to A. E. Fuller) 1897 


Johnson, Herbert E. 1913 


Ackerman, Jacob (Successor to H. T. Register), Milton 1916 

Catlin, J. Howard (Successor to L. L. Munson), Northfield 1917 

Morey & Perkins — Morey, A. C. and Perkins, Willis; Bantam 1912 

(Successors to Watts & Morey) 

Platts, Raymond (Successor to James Catlin), Northfield 1915 


Dickinson, I. T., Milton 1892 Seelye, P. M., Bantam 1908 

The Wadhams Co. — F. L. and Son (Successors to E. C. Snowman) 1913 


Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. 1917 Anderson, W. H., Bantam 1915 

Chapin & Birk — Chapin, J .and Birk, E. (Successors to W. G. Granniss) 1919 
Lynch, H. F. — (Successor to C. W. Hinsdale) 1916 


Allen, W. B.— (Successor to E. B. Allen Co.) 1884 

Moraghan, M. V. 19H 


Franzosi, Alfredo 



Phelps' Tavern — Phelps, Eugene L. 

191 1 


Litchfield Ice Co.— Crutch, George R. 



Clark, F. North 1914 Kirwin, James 


Clock, Elgin 1899 Mason, Frank B. 



The Sunshine Laundry — Barber, T. Lynn 


Ching, George 




Hubbard, John T. 1883 Ryan, Thomas F. 1905 

Lancaster & Foord — Lancaster, WoodruflF, George M. 1859 

John H. 1910 Woodruff, James P. 1893 

Foord, William M. 1919 


Goodman, Louis J. 1900 


Hannon, John J. 1908 Watson, F. I., Northfield 1919 

Kilbourn Brothers — Kilbourn, Carl and Kilbourn, Harry; Bantam 1918 

The Standard Market, Weir, Edward J. (Successor to D. H. Burns) 1912 

Denegar, L. R, 1886 Smith Brothers 1916 

Biglow, Mrs. H. F. 1899 

Barber, George 1913 Retallick, Thomas; Bantam 1919 


Bergin, William F. 1912 Potter, E. F. 1898 

Herbert), William 1919 Rosbach, W. G. 1887 

Oviatt, William; Bantam 1914 Devins, Edward 1907 

Karl Brothers — Karl Brothers 1900 

Karl, Ernest 1900 

Duffie, C. R. 1901 Roberts, Mrs. Marion P. 1919 


Artikis, Louis 1918 Theophilos, George 1908 

Manlakes, Nick; Bantam 1919 

Aragona, T. 1919 

Richardson, Levalli; Bantam 1916 

Kelly, Joseph 1919 



ST. PAUL'S LODGE, :N^0. 11. 

Organized as St. Paul's Lodge, No. 16, by charter granted June 
13, 1781; incorporated March 4, 1881, as St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11. 

From Act of Incorporation; "That the officers and members of 
St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11, of Litchfield, Free and Accepted Masons, 
and such other persons as may succeed them or become members 
thereof, be and they hereby are constituted a body corporate and 
politic, by the name of St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11, of Litchfield, to be 
located in Litchfield, for the purpose of aiding indigent, sick and 
infirm Free Masons, and their widows and orphans, and by that 
name may receive by gift or devise, purchase, take, hold and con- 
vey real or personal estate necessary and convenient for such 
purposes, to an amount not exceeding ten thousand dollars..." 

Past Masters. 

Ashbel Baldwin 



Alexander B. Shumway 


Benjamin Hanks 



Elbert G. Roberts 


Jonathan Kettle 



Samuel W. Ensign 


Julius Deming 



Edson Staples 


Isaac Baldwin Jr. 



William Deming 


Ephraim Kirby 



Elbert G. Roberts 


Isaac Baldwin Jr. 



Charles H. Piatt 

I 876- I 878 

Ephraim Kirby 



Walter K. Peck 

I 878- I 879 

Aaron Smith 



James J. Newcomb 


Peter Sherman 



Alexander B. Shumway 


Aaron Smith 



W. Jerome Bissell 


Roger Cook 



Alexander B. Shumway 

I 882- I 883 

Lucius Smith 



Eugene W. Meafoy 

I 883- I 884 

Elijah Adams 



W. Jerome Bissell 


Lucius Smith 



George E. Jones 


David Marsh 



William R. Coe 


James Winship 



William T. Marsh 


Phineas Lord 



Weston G. Grannissf 


Phineas B. Taylor 



William T. Marsh 


Frederick Buel 



Neal D. Benedict 


Heman W. Childs 



William H. Wheeler 


Samuel Buel 2d 



Austin S. Wheeler 


Stephen Deming 



Wheaton R Dowd 


Charles L. Webb 

1 846-] 


William S. Plumb 


Phineas B. Taylor 



Edwin R Potter 


Frederick Buel 



C. I. Page Jr. 


Frederick D. Beeman 



George C. Woodruff 


David E. Bostwick* 



William S. McLaren 


Eli D. Weeks 



William E. Turkington 




George C. Woodruff 1905-1906 

C. J. Ramsey 1906-1908 

E, F. Potter 1908- 1909 

R. F. Shinn 1909-1910 

J. P. Woodruff 1910-1911 

E. B. Perkins 1911-1912 

Harold K. Switzer, Master 1919- 
T. Lynn Barber, Senior Warden 
Brandt B. Conklin, Junior Warden 
W. Jerome Bissell, Treasurer 
W. S. Plumb, Secretary 
Elton R. Skilton, Senior Deacon 

George Barber 
Harry B. Morse 
J. L .Buel 
N. A. Dains 
M. Z. Westervelt 
C. D. Kilbourn 


Charles F. Deno, Junior Deacon 
Robert W. Landon, Senior Steward 
C. T. Hotchkiss, Junior Steward 
E. F. Potter, Chaplain 
W. Beach Morse, Tyler 
*Grand Master 1864; fi909. 

Organized October 19, 1815. 

Past Hig 
Roger Searls 1815 

William Deming 
A. B. Shumway 
Edson Staples 
E. W. Meafoy 

W. E. Turkington. Capt. of the Host 
W. G. Granniss, Principal Sojourner 
Albert E. Conklin, Royal Arch Capt. 
William Miller, 2nd Vail 


W. F. Dowd 

W. J. Bissell 1882-85, I 

Brandt Conklin, High Priest 

William Crutch, King 

E. L. Phelps, Scribe 

Archibald E. MacDonald, 3rd Vail 

Wilbur B. Morse, Tyler 

George R. Crutch, Secretary 

W. G. Granniss, Treasurer 


Frederick Buel 

Charles O. Belden 

W. G. Granniss 

William Crutch, Right Illustrious 
Deputy Master 

Albert E. Conklin, Principal Con- 
ductor of Work 



Organized May 12, 1853. 

Thrice Illustrious Masters. 

1853 A. B. Shumway 

W. J. Bissell 
W. E. Turkington, Secretary 
W. J. Bissell, Treasurer 
E. L. Phelps, Capt. of the Guard 
Aaron Crutch, Conductor 

W. B. Morse, Tyler 



Organized May 3, 1910. 

The Order of the Eastern Star exists for the purpose of giving 
practical effect to one of the beneficent puri^oses of Freemasonry, 



wliicli is to provide for the welfare of the wives, daughters, mothers, 
widows, and sisters of Masons. 

Worthy Matrons. 
Hattie E, Mason 1910-1911 Florence L. C. Lynch 1916- 

Anna B. Plumb 1912-1913 Edith H. Crutch 1917-191S 

Orah E. Kaehrle 1914-1915 Anna B. Plumb iQip- 

Frances I. Barber, Associate Matron Anna A. Marley, Treasurer 
Evaleen M. Switzer, Secretary 



Organized November 13, 1889. 

The aim of the Patrons of Husbandry is to promote interest in 
agriculture, and cooperative buying and selling; to develop a better 
and higher manhood and womanhood, to suppress personal, local, 
sectional, and national prejudices, all unhealthy rivalry and selfish 
ambition, as well as to bring the farmers in various parts of the 
country into closer contact with each other. 


George W. Mason 

I 889-1891 

Frederick A. Stoddard 


John Q. Ames 


Fred B. Plumb 


Charles D. Kilbourn 

I 893-1894 

Wilbur F. Webster 


William H. Plumb 

I 894-1895 

E. W. Bigelow 


Whitman S. Osborn 

I 895-1896 

George F. Sanford 

1909-191 I 

William B. Morse 


Fred L. Tharp 


Frederick A. Stoddard 

I 898-1899 

Willey D. Buell 


Fred L. Tharp 

I 899-1901 

George B. Stoddard 


Joseph H. Putnam 

I 901 -1903 

Lewis A. Osborn 



D. Coffin 


Leonard Dickinson, Overse 


Frederick A. Stoddard, 



B. Morse 



NO. 118, 



Organized October 14, 1890. 


L. G. Humphreville 


C. S. Hulme 


E. A. Hopkins 


Henry Gill 


L. G. Humphreville 


C. S. Nearing 


H. B. Peck 


Henry Gill 


E. A. Hopkins 


R. A, Goodwin 


C. S. Nearing 


Harry Borgeson 


E. A, Hopkins 


C. S. Hulme 


Charles S. Hulme 


R. A. Goodwin 


E. A. Hopkins 


Charles S. Hulme, Secretary 

F. M. Blakeslee, Treasurer 



Organized June 21, 1890. 

In addition to insurance, the Knights of Columbus seek to unite 
men of the Koman Catholic Church upon a common plane of devo- 
tion to God, to church, and to country. The principles of the Knights 
of Columbus are included under the headings of Charity, Unity, 
Fraternity, and Patriotism. 

Grand Knights. 
Michael Kirwin 1890-1919 William W. Sepples IQIQ- 

Edward A. Brennan, Deputy G. K. Martin J. Bierne, Fin. Secy. 

Albert J. Hausmann, Rec. Sec. Matthew E. Brennan, Treasurer 

John J. Weir, Chancellor Rev. J. L. McGuinness, Chaplain 

Thomas F. Ryan, Advocate Frank L. Doyle, Inside Warden 



Organized August 1, 1907. 

The Emma Deming Council No. 265 is a fraternal and insur- 
ance society. 

Mrs. Alice Maguire 1907-1908 Miss Mary V. Kirwin 1913-1915 

Miss Mary V. Kirwin 1908-1910 Mrs. Mary R. Phelps 1915-1916 

Miss Margaret Hausmann 1910-1912 Miss Mary V. Kirwin 1917- 

Mrs. Alice Maguire 1912-1913 

Mrs. Mary R. Phelps, Vice-Pres. Miss Leonie Rey, Treasurer 

Miss Katheryn Burns, Secretary Mrs. Joanna Meagher, Collector 



Organized February 20, 1916. 

St. Anthony's Eoman Catholic Total Abstinence Society is part 
of the great organized movement known as "The Catholic Total 
Abstinence Union of America". The motto of the organization is 
moral suasion. With prohibitory laws, restrictive license systems 
and special legislation it has nothing whatever to do. 

The Litchfield branch of this society has rooms for social and 
organization purposes in the Bishop Block on West Street. 

P. C. Burke 1916-1917 Hubert A. Higgins iQi?" 

Dennis Carr, Vice-Pres. James Rogers, Rec. Sec. 

Bernard T. Nolan, Sec. and Treas. 


Organized December 1, 1918. 
An Italian mutual benefit society. 

Alfredo Franzosi 1918-1919 Tullio Aragona 1919- 

Primo Strada, Vice-Pres. Gino Valmoretti, Fin. Sec 

Frank Valeri, Rec. Sec. Frank Fabbri, Treas. 

Organized November 17, 1899. 

The objects of this Society are: 

1. To perpetuate the memory of the men and women who 
achieved American Independence, by the acquisition and protection 
of historical spots, and the erection of monuments ; by the encourage- 
ment of historical search in relation to the Revolution and the pub- 
lication of its results; by the preservation of documents and relics, 
and of the records of the individual services of Revolutionary 
soldiers and patriots, and by the promotion of celebrations of all 
patriotic anniversaries. 

2. To carry out the injunction of Washington in his farewell 
address to the American people, "to promote, as an object of prim- 
ary importance, institutions for the general diffusion of knowledge", 
thus developing an enlightened public opinion, and affording to 
young and old such advantages as shall develop in them the largest 
capacity for performing the duties of American citizens. 

3. To cherish, maintain, and extend the institutions of Ameri- 
can freedom, to foster true patriotism and love of country, and to 
aid in securing for mankind all the blessings of liberty. 

Mrs. John Laidlaw Buel 1899-1908 Mrs. Edward W. Seymour 1909-1917 
Mrs. Short Adam Willis 1908-1909 Mrs. George C. Woodruff 1917-1919 

Mrs. William Scott Plumb 1919- 
Miss Clarisse C. Deming, Vice-Regt. Miss Elizabeth Deming, Corres. Sec. 
Miss Cornelia B. Smith, Registrar Mrs. Robert A. Marcy, Treasurer 

Mrs. Martin G. Wright, Rec. Sec. Mrs. Elbert B. Hamlin, Historian 

Mrs. Alex. T. VanLaer, Chaplain 


Organized May 1886. 

A national association of veterans of the Civil War. "On June 
1917, the records of the Seth F. Plumb Post, No. 80, Dept. of Conn., 
were formally turned over to the Litchfield Historical Society by 



the Commander, L. D. Leonard, and other officers of the Post, the 
officers of the Historical Society having kindly consented to place 
them in their archives for preservation. The Seth F. Plumb Post 
was practically disbanded at this time, although the few remaining 
members continued to attend Memorial Day Services". Note by 
Admiral G. P. Colvocoresses, added to the last record book of the 

Leverett W. Wessells 


J. W. Wheeler 


A. B. Shumway 


Charles Merriman 


L. D. Leonard 


Charles W. Hinsdale 


John Q. Ames 


W. K. Stockbridge 


W. H." Plumb 


Edgar A. Alvord 


H. T. Cable 


A. B. Shumway 

1903- I 90s 

T. A. Smith 


S. A. Whittlesey 


George W. Mason 


George W. Mason 


D. C. Kilbourn 


L. D. Leonard 



Organized August 1, 1919. 

The American Legion is a national organization of Veterans of 
the World War. Its objects are as follows: "To uphold and defend 
the Constitution of the United States of America; to maintain law 
and order; to foster and perpetuate a one-hundred-per-cent Ameri- 
canism; to preserve the memories and incidents of the associations 
of the members in the great war; to inculcate a sense of individual 
obligation to the community, state and nation; to combat the autoc- 
racy of both the classes and the masses; to make right the master 
of might; to promote peace and good will on earth; to safeguard 
and transmit to posterity the principles of justice, freedom and 
democracy and to consecrate and sanctify our comradeship by our 
devotion to mutual helpfulness". 

W. M. Foord, Post Com. 1920- Sutherland A. Beckwith, Historian 

Dr. Chas. H. Turkington, Vice-Corn. Albert W. Clock, Finance Officer 
Edward A. Brennan, Adjutant Archibald A. MacDonald, Chaplain 

Organized October 3, 1919. 

R. W. Landon, Post. Com. 1919- Clifford Moore, Treasurer 

Frank E. Wedge. Vice-Commander Bruce Jeffries, Chaplain 

Samuel Leithiser. Adjutant Andrew Terek, Historian 


Organized February 12, 1915. 

The Boy Scouts of America, is a corporation formed by a group 
of men who are anxious that the boys of America should come under 


the influence of this movement and be built up in all that goes 
to make character and good citizenship. 

Scout Masters. 
Dr. A. E. Childs 1915-1918 Edward Pikosky 1918-1919 

Samuel P. Griffin, Assistant Albert Hausmann 1919- 

Troop Committee. 
Dr. A. E. Childs M. J. Moraghan 

Samuel P. Griffin 


Organized January 10, 1917. 

Scout Masters. ^s. 

J. L. Mower 1917- J- L. Kirwin, Asst. 1917- 

Troop Committee. 
Dr. A. E. Childs M. J. Moraghan 

Rev. William J. Brewster 

Organized 1918. 
Rev. W. Humiston^ Scoutmaster 1918- 


Organized 1915. 

The purpose of this organization is to train girls to be good 
citizens, through natural contacts of work and play; to give them 
healthy ideals, to keep them physically fit, to broaden their inter- 
ests and to increase their capabilities. 

Mrs. Baillie Ripley 1915-1917 Mrs. Richard Chisolm 1917- 

Miss Blanche Richardson 1916-1917 Miss Elizabeth Deming 1917-1918 
Miss Dorothy Bull 1918- 

Organized May 21, 1898, as Eed Cross Auxiliary No. 16. 

Eed Cross Auxiliary No. 16 was reorganized October 5, 1900 as 
Auxiliary No. 5; became Sub-Division No. 1, July 11, 1905; became 
Litchfield County Chapter, March 1910; became Litchfield Chapter, 
April 3, 1917. 

"The purpose of this Chapter shall be to aid the work of the 
American National Eed Cross, in time of war by participating 
vigorously and loyally in furnishing such relief as may be necessary 


for the Army and Navy, or other forces of the country, and in 
furnishing Civilian Relief for the dependents of soldiers and sailors, 
and in time of peace by responding to general appeals for relief 
made by the Central Committee, by providing systematic relief in 
cases of disaster, and in general by rendering relief or performing 
service in conformity with the Charter and By-laws of the American 
National Eed Cross and such policies and regulations as the Cen- 
tral Committee may from time to time establish". 

Mrs. George M. Woodruff 1898-1905 Rear-Adm'l Colvocoresses 1910-1919 
Mrs. S. A. Willis 1905-1910 Miss Cornelia B. Smith 1919- 

William J. Brewster, Vice-Ch. Florence E. Ennis, Corres. Sec. 

Mrs. John L. Buel, Rec. Sec. Esther H. Thompson, Treas. 


Organized 1881. 

The purpose of the Indian Association is to extend financial 
aid to the Indians, to carry on medical and hospital work among 
them, and to maintain an Indian mission at Fort Hall, Idaho. 

Mrs. Allan McLean 1908-1910 Miss Josephine E. Richards 1910-1918 

Mrs. G. P. Colvocoresses 1919- 

Miss Mary P. Quincy, Vice-Pres. Miss Kate H. M. Sylvester, Treas. 

Mrs. Frederick Deming, Secretary 


Organized August 3, 1893. Incorporated 1897. 

The object of the Society, according to its constitution, is "to 
discover, procure, and preserve Avhatever may relate to the civil, 
military, literary and ecclesiastical history and biography in gen- 
eral, and of the County of Litchfield, and the State of Connecticut 
in particular; to investigate and preserve such traditions as now 
exist only in the memory of aged persons; to establish and main- 
tain a library for general reference, also procure and main- 
tain collections in archeology, art and of the natural history of 
Litchfield County, and in general to encourage study and research, 
particularly that relating to local history, biography, antiquities and 
natural history, and to disseminate information relative thereto". 

In 1901 the Society took posession of the museum and lecture 
room, especiall}' provided for its uses in the beautiful building 
given by Mr. John A. Vanderpoel as a memorial to his grandmother, 
Julia F. Tallmadge Noyes, widow of William Curtis Noyes. Here 
are on exhibition the collections of the Society, consisting of Indian, 
Colonial, Revolutionary and modern local and other objects. Notable 


among these is the collection of ten portraits and a landscape by 
KaJph Earle, the American painter, who visited Litchfield in 1796. 
The Litchfield Scientific Associartion, which was organized in 
1903 was merged with the Historical Society in 1919, and its col- 
lections, which are housed in the Noyes Memorial Building, now 
form part of those of the Historical Society. 

Rev. S. O. Seymour, D.D. 1893-1918 Hon. George M. Woodruff 1918- 
Mrs. J. A. Vanderpoel, ist Vice-Pres. Alain C. White, Cor. Sec. & Treas. 
Cornelius R. Duffie, Rec. Sec. 


Wolcott Library organized May 27, 1862; Litchfield Circulating 
Library organized on June 2, 1870. Consolidated in 1903. 

The Wolcott Library was so-called in honor of a generous donor, 
J. Huntington Wolcott, whose family coat of arms was adopted as 
the arms of the Library Association. The library was housed in 
the brick building on South Street, now known as the Telephone 
Building, and was a reference library. Dues were paid for life 
membership, $2.00 originally, raised to $3.00 in 1863. 

The Litchfield Circulating Library was organized at a meeting 
held on June 2, 1870, in Dr. David E. Bostwick's house, which stood 
on the site of the present Library Building. The books were kept 
for many years in the house of Mrs. Mary C. Hickox, who was the 
first librarian. 

The dues were fixed at $3.00 for membership, and were trans- 
ferable. Persons paying $1.00 were entitled to the benefit of the 
Library for one year, but not to membership. It was provided in 
the By-Laws that on the first Thursday of every month a meeting 
should be held at which should be sold at auction the use for a 
month of books, magazines, etc., not more than four books to be 
bid off by one member or yearly subscriber, and no bid of less than 
two cents should be accepted. 

At stated periods, to be fixed by the Librarian, between each 
monthly sale, books returned or remaining unsold, might be taken 
out by members and subscribers on payment of ten cents a volume, 
"half to go into the treasury and half to go to the Librarian for his 
trouble". This method of distributing the books by auction was 
kept up until January, 1877, when a graded scale of charges was 
fixed, of ten cents for each volume for the fifty volumes of the 
highest numbers, five cents for all others down to ISTo. 500, and 
three cents for all others, for two weeks us. These rates were altered 
from time to time. 

The Wolcott and Litchfield Circulating Library was formed 
in 1903, by the consolidation of the two existing libraries. The 
present building was the gift of John Arent Vanderpoel, in memory 



of his grandmother Julia Tallniadge| Noyes. The Library was made 
free to the general public. The Mary Floyd Tallmadge Chapter 
of the D. A. K. was largely instrumental in raising the money for 
the purchase of the site and the endowment fund. 

Wolcott Library Association. 


Dr. Henry W. Buel 1862-1894 Rev. S. O. Seymour, D.D. 1900-1903 

George A. Hickox 1894-1900 


George A. Hickox 1862-1863 Mrs. Harriet B. Belden 1883-1886 

William L. Ransom 1863-1881 Mrs. Mary J. Buel 1887-1902 

Mrs. Mary C. Hickox 1882- Miss Susan Mason 1902- 

Miss Katharine Baldwin 1902-1903 


Circulating Library Association. 


Dr. David E. Bostwick 

George M. Woodruff 


Mrs. Adelaide Bostwick 


George A. Hickox 


Edward W. Seymour 


Mrs. E. G. Roberts 

1878- I 879 

George M. Woodruff 


A. B. Shumway 


George A. Hickox 


George C. Woodruff 


Dr. Howard E. Gates 


George M. Woodruff 


George A. Hickox 


Dr. John L. Buel 

I 902- I 903 


Mrs. Mary C. Hickox 


Miss Nellie Tompkins 


Mrs. E. W. Seymour 


Mrs. Mary C. Hickox 


Mrs. Mary J. Buel 


Mrs. H. B. Belden 


Mrs. D. E. Bostwick 


Mrs. H. W. Wessells 


Mrs. E. G. Roberts 


Mrs. H. B. Belden 


Mrs. H. W. Wessells 


Mrs. Mary J. Buel 


Mrs. C. H. Piatt 



Miss Susan Mason 


Miss Annie Roberts 


Miss Katharine Baldwin 

1902- I 903 

Wolcott and Litchfield Circulating Library. 

Rev. S. O. Seymour, D.D. 1903-1918 George M. Woodruff 1918- 

Alain C. White, Secretary Charles H. Coit, Treasurer 

Miss Katharine Baldwin^ Librarian 1903- 


Organized 1893. 

A social club for the study of literature, history and science, 
and for local civic work. 

Mrs. Louise A. Wooster 1893-1894 Mrs. Ella Catlin 1894-1895 




Ella J. Curtiss 



Ella J. Curtiss 



Elizabeth W. Pond 

I 896- I 897 


Gertrude Peck 

I 904- I 905 


Gertrude Peck 



Ella J. Curtiss 



Laura Peck 

I 898- I 899 


Grace Humphreville 



F. S. Grant 

I 899- I 900 


Ella J. Curtiss 



Ella J. Curtiss 

I 900- I 902 


Grace Humphreville 



Amelia Ray 

I 902- I 903 


Ella J. Curtiss 



F. M. Blakeslee, Vice-Pres. 


Lucy Beatson, Treasurer 


Louise A. Wooster, 



•Organized January 21, 1915. 

The purpose of the club is to pay the fees of the Bantam Libra- 
rian and to buy new books for the Library. 


Ruth E. Curnalia 
Mildred E. Beers 
Ruth Edwards 

1915- Eva Svvartfiguer 1916- 

1915- Mrs. Raymond Brown 1917- 

1916- Ruth Ravenscroft 1917-1919 
Mrs. Raymond Brown 1919- 

Ruby Mattson, Vice-Pres. Mary T. Dempsey, Secretary 

Mrs. Clifford Hotchkiss, Treasurer 


Organized 1915. 

A social club devoted to the reading of the plays of Shakespeare. 
Rev. F. J. Goodwin, Leader 1915- Miss Ruth Mathews, Secretary 


Organized April 22, 1908. 

The object of the society is to hold meetings for social inter- 
course, and the discussion of subjects of common interest, and to 
engage in any movement for the good of the community that may 
seem best to the members. 

James P. Woodruff 
Charles Rood 
R. K. Biglow 
P. North Clark 
W. B. Allen 


1908- Storrs O. Seymour, D.D. 1913- 

1909- Dr. Albert E. Childs 1914-1915 

1910- John T. Hubbard 1916-1917 

191 1- Rev. William J. Brewster 1918- 

1912- F. North Clark 1919- 
Dr. A. E. Childs, Sec. and Treas. 


Organized March 1914. 

The Women's Fonun was organized to secure an interchange of 
thought on any subject of general interest. 

Mrs. A. T. Van Lear 1914-1916 Mrs. A. T. Van Laer* 1919- 

Miss Adelaide Deming 1916-1917 Mrs. William T. Marsh 1919- 

Mrs. John Laidlaw Buel 1917-1919 ^Resigned. 
Mrs. Ellsworth F. Miner, Secretary Mrs. Frank Mathews, Treasurer 

Incorporated April 24, 1875. 

The purpose for which this Company was formed is to make 
improvements in the Village of Litchfield, its streets, parks, public 
grounds and public buildings ; and to purchase, erect and maintain 
new ones; and to do all things incidental to said business, and to 
the proper management thereof. 

George M. Woodruff 1875-1876 J. Deming Perkins 1888-1889 

J. Deming Perkins 1876-1877 A. E. Fuller 1889-1911 

George M. Woodruff 1877-1885 Seymour Cunningham 1911-1913 

Charles H. Coit 1885-1886 A. T. Van Laer 1913-1919 

A. E. Fuller 1886-1888 Alain C. White 1919- 

Clara Kenney, Secretary Esther H. Thompson, Treasurer 


Organized November 1914, in affiliation Avith the Public Health 
Nursing Service of the American Red Cross. 

The District Nursing Association has for its objects; to provide, 
adequate public health nursing service for the township of Litch- 
field, through a trained public health nurse, with everj^ facility to 
enable her to work to the best advantage; and to assist in improving 
the health and social Avelfare of the community, through its Board 
of Directors and trained workers, and to dispense material relief 
through its Auxiliary Committee. 

Miss H. M. Richards, Pres. 1914- Mrs. G. P. Colvocoresses, Secretary 

Rev. William J. Brewster, Vice-Pres. Mrs. E. P. Roberts, Treasurer 

Miss Ada Snowden 1914-1916 Mrs. Carolyn Wright 1918- 

Miss Genevieve Robb 1916-1918 Miss Emma B. Brown 1918- 


Organized December 26, 1906. 

The Litchfield High School Alumni Association is a voluntary 
body formed for the purpose of promoting good feeling and loyalty 



among the graduates of the Litchfield High School, and among those 
who from time to time, may be associated with them. 

Dr. Henry H. Fenn 1906-1908 James L. Kirwin 1912-1914 

George R. Crutch 1908-1910 Rudolph Karl 1914-1916 

William A. Crutch 1910-1912 Albert W. Clock 1916- 

William L. Herbert. Vice-Pres. Dora L. Stoddard, Sec. and Treas. 


Organized November 4, 1914. 

The Parent-Teachers' Association was organized for the purpose 
of bringing into close relations the home and school, that parent and 
teacher may cooperate intelligently in the education of the child. 

Mrs. Philip P. Hubbard 1914-1915 Mrs. Milo D. Beach 1916-1917 

Mrs. J. H. Reynolds 1915-1916 Mrs. W. S. Plumb 1917-1919 

Mrs. R. Dunscomb Sanford 1919- 
Miss Adelaide Deming, Secretary Mrs. Stanley Coe. Treasurer 

Established 1904; incorporated July 1, 1909. 

The Connecticut Junior Republic was established in 1904, on a 
farm of 80 acres, two miles north of Litchfield, left by will by Miss 
Mary Buel at her death in 1900. The original homestead was 
destroyed in 1914, but new buildings were given by William Col- 
gate and Professor Roswell P. Angler, so that the Republic is 
equipped with an administration building, dormitory and gymna- 
sium; the old school house is now serving as a dormitory and there 
are accommodations for 70 boys. Rev. John Hutchins was largely 
instrumental in getting the Republic established. 

The object of the Republic is to change the delinquent and way- 
ward (but not backward or criminal) boy of today into the self- 
supporting and law-abiding citizen of to-morrow; to direct but not 
suppress native energy. 

Its method is to make each boy a citizen in a miniature 
republic, the watchwords of which are "self-govermnent" and 
"nothing without labor". There is no adult domination, the boys 
truly govern themselves. There is no idleness and no enforced 
labor; each boy simply confronts the dilemma of working for his 
living or of suffering the penalty of laws enacted by the boys, admin- 
istered by boy courts, enforced by boy officers. 
Presidents Board of Trustees. 
Rev. John Hutchins 1904-1909 Roswell P. Angier* 1915-1918 

Charles S. DeForest 1909-1912 Harley F. Roberts 1918- 

George Parmly Day 1912-1915 -^Became Honorary President in 1918. 


William T. Marsh, Vice-Pres. Union & N. Haven Trust Co., Treas. 

Ralph D. Cutler, Secretary 


Frederick King 1904-1908 Lester F. Babcock 1917-1919 

H. G. LeRoy 1908-1909 John M. Kingman 1919- 

S. J. Davis 1909-1917 Tilden Gifford 1919- 



Organized December 30, 1911. 

The Litchfield Aid was organized for the purpose of raising 
funds toward the current expenses of the Republic, and has a 
general supervision of the buildings through its House Committee. 
The Aid also supplies suitable recreation for the citizens and helps 
to keep the trustees in close touch with the needs of the Republic. 

Miss Minerva W. Buel 1911-1913 Mrs. A. T. Van Laer 1913-1919 

Miss Minerva W. Buel, Vice-Pres.* Mrs. John Dove, Cor. Sec. 
Mrs. Seymour Cunningham, Rec.-Sec. Miss Harriet C. Abbe, Treasurer 
*Acting president. 


Organized September 5, 1913. 

The Litchfield Equal Franchise League is an Auxiliary of the 
Connecticut Woman Suffrage Association, which has for its object 
the securing of the ratification of the Susan B. Anthony Amend- 
ment and the preparation of Connecticut women for the use of the 

Miss Frances E. Hickox 1913-1914 Miss Adelaide Deming 1914- 

Mrs. William T. Marsh, Vice-Pres. Miss Florence E. Ennis, Sec. -Treas. 

Organized 1913. 

This association was organized for the purpose of assisting in 
the observance and perpetuation of Memorial Day. 

Mrs. W. O. Butler 1913-1919 Alain C. White 1919- 

Miss Cornelia B. Smith, Vice-Pres. Miss Edith H. Crutch, Treasurer 
Mrs. George S. Elmore, Secretary 



Organized February 12, 1915. 

The Litchfield County Farm Bureau was organized for the pur- 
pose of promoting the development of the most profitable and per- 
manent system of agriculture; the most wholesome and satisfactory 
living conditions; the highest ideals in home and community life; 
and a genuine interest in the farm business and rural life on the 
part of the boys and girls and young people. 

C. E. Hough, Washington 1915-1916 Richard Dodge, Wash'ton 1917-1918 
Robert Scoville, SaHsbury 1916-1917 S. McL. Buckingham, W't'n 1918- 
S. R. Scoville, Cornwall, ist Vice-Pr. Philip P. Hubbard, Litchfield, Treas. 
Mrs. W. Griswold, Goshen, 2d V.-P. 

County Agricultural Agent. 
Allen W. Manchester 1915-1919 Arthur G. Davis 1919- 

Home Demonstration Agent. 
Miss Josephine Leverett 1917-1918 Miss Marie Lovsnes IQIQ- 

Miss Emily Bronson 1918-1919 Miss Eleanor S. Moss iQip- 

Boys' and Girls' Club Leader. 
Harold Brundage 1918- Raymond T. James ipip- 

Incorporated 1906. 
A social club with a club house on South Street. 

Col. George B. Sanford 1906-1908 Dr. John L. Buel 1908- 

Alain C. White, Vice-Pres. Seymour Cunningham, Treasurer 

William Trumbull, Secretary 


Incorporated 1916, as the successor of the Litchfield Lawn Club 
and the Litchfield Golf Club. 

Club house, golf links, tennis courts, etc., at the Catlin Farm. 

Alain C. White 1916-1918 F. Kingsbury Bull 1918- 

Robert C. Swayze, Vice-Pres. John H. Lancaster, Secretary 

Cornelius R. Duffie, Treasurer 


Organized August 20, 1897; as "The Bantam River Club Company". 
The Bantam River Club Company was organized with 20 stock- 
holders with shares of $25 each. The Canoe Club of Litchfield 


was organized on March 13, 1911, with a capital of $2,000, shares 
$50 each, and took over the property of the Bantam River Club 

Charles H. Coit, Pres. 1897- Charles T. Payne, Sec. and Treas. 

Incorporated 1913. 

A fishing and shooting club, with clubhouse. 

Charles T. Payne 1913-1920 Richard Hunt 1920- 

John H. Lancaster, Secretary William M. Foord, Treasurer 


Organized September 1913, became member of the Garden Club 
of America in 1916. 

The Litchfield Garden Club was organized for the purpose of 
promoting scientific and artistic methods of gardening. While 
this has been the avowed object, the Club has widened its activities 
somewhat during the six years of its existence and has undertaken 
civic work, such as the improvement and planting of the grounds 
around the NeAV Haven station in Litchfield, and in the autumn of 
1919 the j)urchase of the building formerly known as the Lawn Club, 
which it ijroposes to put in good shape, so that in the near future 
there may be a comfortable building available for rent at moderate 

Mrs. S. Edson Gage, Pres. 1913- Mrs. John Dove, Cor. Sec. 

Mrs. Chas. B. Curtis, ist Vice-Pres. Miss Alice Kingsbury, Treas. 
Mrs. Henry S. Munroe, Sec. 


Organized 1919. 

This society is the first Auxiliary of the Needle and Bobbin 
Club of New York and its purposes include: to bring together those 
who are interested in lace, embroidery, w^eaving and allied siib- 
jects; to make collections of handmade fabrics and exhibit them 
in the rooms of the Litchfield Historical Society; and to contribute 
toward the education of, and give awards to, workers in these 

Mrs. John A. Vanderpoel, Hon- Pres.' Miss Kate I. Thomas, Secretary 
Miss Mary P. Quincy, President Mrs. Floyd L. Vanderpoel, Treas. 

Mrs. Charles B. Curtis, ist V.-Pres. 


Organized 1919. 

Arthur Staples, Manager 1919- 



Organized October 27, 1890. 

The Litchfield Fire Company is a voluntary organization, and is 
equipped with a La France Chemical and Hose Auto Truck, pre- 
sented to the Company in 1916 by Mrs. W. H. K. Godfrey and Miss 
Ella Coe. In 1892, the Company moved into the present Fire Depart- 
ment Building, built by J. Deming Perkins, the use of which was 
given by him to the Fire Company. This building was purchased 
from the estate of Mr. Perkins on August 1, 1911, by the Borough 
of Litchfield. 

Samuel J. Cone 1890-1894 Edward Crutch 1903-1905 

Alexander B. Shumway 1894-189S George A. Smith 1905-1907 

George C. Woodruff 1893-1896 George R. Crutch 1907-1908 

W. Beach Morse 1896-1897 Louis J. Goodman 1908-1909 

W. Burton Allen 1897-1899 Robert K. Biglow 1909-1912 

Charles W. Biglow 1899-1901 Thomas F. Ryan 1912-1917 

George E. Mason 1901-1903 William L. Herbert iQi?- 

Eugene L. Phelps 1891-1896 George C. Woodruff 1902-1907 

J. Deming Perkins 1896-1898 W. Beach Morse 1907- 

W. Beach Morse 1898-1902 

A. J. Hausmann. Secretary James E. Conroy, Treasurer 


Organized February 1916. 

Robert Currie, Chief 1916- C. Hotchkiss, Secretary 

C. Deno, Assistant Chief R. Brown, Treasurer 


Incorporated February 6, 1866, in charge of East Cemetery. 

Origen S. Seymour 1866-1883 Henry W. Buel 1887-1893 

George C. Woodruff 1883-1885 Edgar B. VanWinkle 1893-1920 

Alain C. White 1920- 

James P. Woodruff. Treasurer Seymour Cunningham, Secretary 


Incorporated 1901. 

The Company was organized for the purpose of caring for and 
maintaining the West Cemetery. 

Francis M. Coe, Pres. 1901- 

Lewis Marsh, Secretary F. U. Newcomb, Treasurer 







Incorporated 1818, as a village, at the May session of the 
Legislature, in which act the limits of the village were defined, 
officers to be a president, treasurer and clerk. In 1885, at the 
January session of the Legislature, all the electors dwelling within 
the limits of the village were declared to be a body politic and 
corporate by the name of the Borough of Litchfield, the officers to 
be a warden, burgesses, etc. 


Frederick D. Beeman 1857-1858 

John H. Hubbard 1858-1859 

Edward W. Seymour 1859-1860 

Henry W. Buel 1860-1862 

Seth P. Beers 1862-1863 

George C. Woodruff 1863-1879 

J. Deming Perkins 1879-1880 

George A. Hickox 1880-1882 

Frederick Deming 1882-1884 


Charles H. Coit 1898-1899 

William T. Marsh 1899-1900 

John T. Hubbard 1900-1901 

Aaron Crutch :90i-i907 

P. M. Skelly 1907-1908 

Aaron Crutch 1908-1911 

W. Burton Allen 1911-1919 

George C. Ives 1920- 


Charles W. Biglow 
Edward M. Sepples 
William S. Plumb 

Richard V. Tobin 
Matthew E. Brennan 
W. Jerome Bissell, Treasurer Charles H. Coit, Auditor 

Travis A. Ganung, Clerk 

Incorporated April 16. 1915. 

Eli D. Weeks 1915-1918 John Hard 

John Coe, ist Burgess 
R. L. Rochfort, 2nd Burgess 
A. C. Morey, 3rd Burgess 

Frederick Wolcott 


Uriel Holmes 

I 820- I 824 

William Buel 


Phineas Miner 


Joseph Adams 

I 839- I 842 

Josiah G. Beckwith 

I 842- I 853 

Garwood Sanford 

I 853- I 854 

Henry B. Graves 


P. K. Kilbourne 


H. E. Gates 

I 887- I 888 

William L. Ransom 


Seth Pratt 


William T. Marsh 


Charles B. Bishop 


Henry W. Wessells 


Eugene L. Phelps 

I 894- I 895 

James P. Woodruff 


Charles N. Warner 
Martin J. Moraghan 
Lyman J. Booth 

Louis J. Goodman 

R. J. Landon 

F. M. Seelye, Treasurer 

Frank Seward, 4th Burgess 
George Burgoyne, 5th Burgess 
Clifford Hotchkiss, 6th Burgess 

W. L. Ravenscroft 
Robert Currie, Auditor 

George Morey, Clerk 



Organized December 5, 1911. 

C. F. Flynn 1911-1912 Floyd Vanderpoel 1913-1914 

W. S. Rogers 1912-1913 Milo D. Bartholomew 1914-1916 

C. B. Heath 1916- 

Herman Foster, Secretary F. M. Seeyle, Treasurer 



Congregational Cliurcli. 

Organized 1870. 

The purpose of the Auxiliary is to cooperate with the Women's 
Board of Missions in the support of missionaries and mission sta- 
tions on the foreign field. 

Mrs. Allan McLean 1875-1881 Mrs. John Hutchins 1895-1913 

Mrs. Charles Symington 1883-1893 Mrs. John L. Buel 1913-1915 

Mrs. Frank J. Goodwin 1915- 
Mrs. Henrietta Bissell, Secretary Mrs. George S. Elmore, Treasurer 


Organized July 1875. 

The purpose of the Daisy Chain is to interest children in mis- 
sionary Avork and lead them to do what they can to help the children 
of less favored lands. 

Miss Josephine E. Richards 1875-1912 Miss Mary A. Hutchins 1912- 
Miss Eleanor Hexamer, Secretary Miss Elizabeth Potter, Treasurer 

Organized November 15, 1881. 
The object of this organization is as follows: To promote the 
Kingdom of Christ in the general work of Foreigii Missions and so 
fulfill His parting command. All money raised by the Society is 
sent to the Woniien's Board of Missions to assist in its work of 
sending the Gospel to the more remote parts of the earth. 

Miss Emma L. Adams 1884-1896 Miss Cornelia B. Smith 1912- 

Mrs. George C. Woodruff 1896-1912 
Miss Mildred Rylander, Secretary Miss Clara B. Kenney, Treasurer 




Oganized 1890. 

The object of this society is to serve as a training school for the 
church. It is a member of the Winsted Union, and contributes to 
Home and Foreign Missions. 

Eleanor Hexamer, Pres. 1920- Cornelia B. Smith, Sec. and Treas. 

Mildred Rylander, Vice-Pres. 


Organized 1897. 

This organization takes the children of the church up to the 
time they are six years old. No meetings are held except once a 
year in connection with the Daisy Chain, when they have a Cradle 
EoU Tea. A suitable tea is served, with a birthday cake with as 
many candles as there are members. Through an Endowment Fund 
established by Mrs. Shepherd Knapp, the children support a little 
African boy. 

Mrs. John Hutchins 1897-1915 Mrs. Albert E. Childs 1919- 

Mrs. William O. Butler 1915-1919 


Organized January 190.3. 

The Women's Guild was organized for the puiTiose of helping 
to carry on the work of the church in Avhatever way seemed best. 

Miss Martha Peck 1903-1906 Mrs. William T. Marsh 1911-1912 

Mrs. Frederick W. Peck 1906-1908 Mrs. Robert A. Marcy 1912-1913 
Mrs. George E. Mason 1908-1911 Mrs. William J. Dykes 1913- 

Miss Cornelia B. Smith, Vice-Pres. Mrs. George E. Mason, Sec.-Treas. 


Date of organization unknowni. 

The early records of this Society have either been lost, or as 
seems more likely, no official records were kept. It is certain, 
however, that the Home Missionary work has been carried on by 
the women since early in the history of the church. The work of 
the Society has been preparing and sending boxes of clothing and 
household articles to home missionaries in the field. Later the 


Society became affiliated with the Connecticut Women's Congrega- 
tional Union, and the work included the raising of money for the 
work of this organization. 

Mrs. Henry R. Coit Mrs. John Hutchins 1910-1915 

Mrs. George M. Woodrufif Mrs. George C. Woodruff 191 5- 

Mrs. Frederick Deming. Vice-Pres. Mrs. W. B. Allen, Treasurer 
Miss Cornelia B. Smith, Secretary 



Organized September 29, 1869. 

Originally called the Sewing Society. Later became the Ladies' 

Aid Society, with the object of helping the church financially and 

socially. No record of officers available, prior to 1900. 

Mrs. George Wallace Newcomb Mrs. Aaron Crutch 1914-1915 

Mrs. Horace Cowles 1900-1911 Mrs. F. U. Newcomb 1915-1917 

Mrs. Seth Osborne 191 1- Mrs. Charles Shumway 1917-1919 

Mrs. Marvin S. Todd 1912-1913 Mrs. Milo D. Beach 1919- 

Mrs. Harry T. Lynch, Secretary Mrs. William B. Pruner, Treasurer 

Organized June 8, 1893. 
This society was organized as a Christian Endeavor Society 

The purpose of the Epworth League essentially is for the disci- 
jjline of the youth of the church in Christian life and experience, 
and training for Christian service. 
Joseph D. Coffin, President 1920- Miss Emma Drumm, Sec. and Treas. 


Organized May 20, 1896. 

Mrs. Milo D. Beach, Supt. 1920- 

Elizabeth Pruner, Pres. Marjorie Fenn, Secy. 

Bradford Smith, Treas. 


An organized adult Bible Class. The Purpose: The mutual 
improvement of its members through Bible study and social culture, 
and the advancement of the church. 

Leonard A. Dickinson, President Mrs. Gladys S. Ganung, Treasurer 

Joseph Coffin, Vice-President Miss Kittie Fenn, Teacher 

Miss Emma Drumm, Secretary 


Organized 1903. 

For financial aid of parish, especially the maintenance of the 
Eectory; feature, an annual sale in August. 

Mrs. C. W. Hinsdale 1903-1920 Mrs. Charles N. Warner, 1920- 

Mrs. A. P. Lewis, Hon. Pres. Mrs. Seymour Cunningham, Treas. 

Mrs. M. G. Wright, Secretary 


Organized 1920. 
For the aid of the Rector and missionary work. 

Mrs. A. Cahill, Pres. 1920- Mrs. R. Dunscomb Sanford, Sec. 



Date of organization unknown. 

For the aid of general and special missionary work of the 
church at large. 

Mrs. W. J. Brewster, Ch. 1917- Mrs. W. H. Sanford, Sec. and Treas. 


Organized June 13, 1895. 

The object of this society is to help the church financially and 

Mrs. John Bishop 

Mrs. George demons 

Mrs. John Coe 

Mrs. George demons 

Mrs. Fred Landon 

Mrs. George Peck 

Mrs. Augustus Smith, Vice-Pres. Mrs. F. O. Landon, Sec. and Treas. 


Organized January 31, 1897. 

Samuel Glover 1897-1898 Jennie Coe 1898- 




Arthur Morey 


1896- I 897 


Henry Wheeler 


I 898- I 900 


Fred Landon. 




John Coe 




Harley Scott 




George Peck 




John Sparklin 


James Monroe 


George Peck 


S. May Barber 


Jennie Coe 


Herman Foster 


George demons 


Samuel Glover 


Samuel Glover 


Herman Foster 


S. May Barber 


Robert Elliott 


Jeanie Strathie 


Herman Foster 



James Monroe 


Gladys Mattson, Vice-Pres. 

Hazel Morey, Treasurer 

Harriet Peck, Secretary 


Organized 1896. 

The Women's Guild succeeded tlie Women's Sewing Society, 
whichi had been in existence for many years. The object of the 
Guild is to promote the welfare of St. Paul's Church and to do 
such charitable and missionary work as shall be determined by the 

1896-1897 Ad!rs. Edward Robinson 1908-1909 

1897-1902 Mrs. George B. Morey 1909- 191 1 
1902-1904 Mrs. James L. Doyle 1911-1915 

1904-1905 Mrs. William A. Buell 1915-1916 

1905-1906 Mrs. Thaddeus W. Harris 1916-1919 
1906-1908 Mrs. Wm. L. Ravenscroft 1919- 

Mrs. Cornelius R. Duffie, Sec.-Treas. 

Mrs. George B. Morey 
Mrs. William A. Buell 
Mrs. Hiram Stone 
Mrs. John H. Jackson 
Mrs. John O. Ferris 
Mrs. William A. Buell 

Mrs. Filmore Brown, Vice-Pres. 


Organized 1910. 

The Altar Guild has the sacristy work of the church in charge. 
Mrs. H. Macintyre, Pres. 1910- Miss Edith Moore, Treasurer 


Organized January 1920. 
This society is a branch of the Women's Auxiliary of the Dio- 
cese of Connecticut, and is organized for missionary work. 
Mrs. J. C. Calloway, Pres. 1920- Mrs. C. B. Heath, Sec. and Treas. 

Mrs. George B. Morey, Vice- Pres. 

Organized 1920. 

The purpose of this club is to interest the boys of the Parish in 
the higher life of the community and to provide athletic and social 
entertainment for them. 

Hugh Trumbull, Pres. 1920- Jack Ravenscroft, Secretary 

William Ravenscroft, Vice-Pres. William Doyle, Treasurer 

Floyd L. Vanderpoel, Pres., Trumbull- Vanderpoel Co. 

William T. Marsh, President, Litchfield Water Co. 



Organized September 1814, as the "Phoenix Branch Bank", 
reorganized December 22, 1864, as "The First National Bank of 

The Bank has a capital of $100,000, deposits exceed $400,000, 
surplus $30,000. 

The Phoenix Branch Bank. 


Col. Benjamin Tallmadge 1815-1826 Asa Bacon 1833-1846 

Judge James Gould 1826-1833 Theron Beach 1846-1852 

George C. Woodruff 1852-1864 

The First National Bank. 

Edwin McNeill 1864-1875 George E. Jones 1893-1896 

Henry R. Coit 1875-1887 Judge Charles B. Andrews 1896-1899 

Henry W. Buel 1887-1893 George M. Woodruff 1899- 

Charles H. Coit, Vice-president Philip P. Hubbard, Cashier 

Weston G. Granniss Lester R. Denegar 

Frank H. Turkington William T. Marsh 

James P. Woodruff 

Incorporated May 1850. 

The Litchfield Savings Society is without Capital Stock; has 
deposits of $2,000,000; surplus $200,000; number of depositors 3,600. 

George C. Woodruff 1850-1885 George M. Woodruff 1885- 

James P. Woodruff, Vice-president Charles H. Coit, Sec. & Treas. 

Almon E. Fuller John T. Hubbard 

WilHam T. Marsh Charles N. Warner 

W. J. Bissell 


Organized 1889. 

The Litchfield Water Company began its work by building a 
reservoir in the town of Goshen, on Fox brook, which could not 
properly be called a brook, as it practically dried up soon after a 

Water was introduced into the town in 1891, and people realized 
that they could now enjoy the luxury of a public water supply. 


which had always been considered out of the question for Litch- 
field. It onl}^ required hoAvever, the experience of a few years to 
show that the supply was inadequate, and could not be depended 

In 1896, under the direction of Prof. Munroe, a pumping plant 
was installed in the valley beloAV the reservoir, which was con- 
nected with several driven Avells, sunk to a depth of about 90 feet, 
and these wells have proAdded an unfailing supply of pure Avater 
ever since, so that hoAvcA^er dry the season or Iioav near a AA^ater 
famine many of the surrounding towns were, Litchfield people, other 
than the stockholders, had no cause for worry. 

Soon after the completion of the reseiwoir, the Company acquired 
practically all of the Avater-shed contributory, about 500 acres, and 
have alloAved it to return to Avild land, and what was at the time 
fine farm land, is now covered Avith quite a growth of young hard- 
wood trees, Avell fenced to keep out cattle. 

In 1914 a filter was installed to take out some sediment which 
washes into a reservoir in time of heavy rains, and while not 
entirely preventing trouble arising from that cause, it has been of 
very great help in keeping the water clear. 

F. H. Wiggin 1889-1892 F. H. Wiggin 1894-1897 

George M. Woodruff 1892-1894 William T. Marsh 1897- 

James P. Woodruff, Vice-Pres. Charles H. Coit, Secretary 

William T. Marsh, Treasurer 


Incorporated 1897 

In March 1901, the Company purchased at Bantam all the land 
of the Litchfield Land Improvement Co., north of the railroad track 
and all its water rights to the stream. They also purchased 
from Buel and Coit the old grist mill, formerly run by Samuel 
Bennett. This privilege AA^as originally granted by vote of the 
town in 1804, "being rights of the Shepaug stream", Avhich at that 
time was the name applied to the stream from the outlet of Bantam 
Lake. These privileges gave the Company controlling rights to 
water privileges, aggregating a head of 65 feet. 

Some time during 1901, the power was generated at Bantam and 
took the place of the small plant in Grannis and Elmore's basement. 

The present poM^er house was built in July 1901. The business 
started with a capital of $10,000 and an income of about $75 per 
month. The Company, at present has a capital of $100,000, surplus 
of $25,000, a debt of $65,000, and property of something over $200,000. 
The annual business amounts to about $50,000. 

George S. Elmore 1898-1900 John L. Buel 1909-1916 

Charles H. Coit 1901-1909 Walter Camp Jr. 1916- 







Weston G. Granniss, Vice-Pres. Charles H. Coit, Treasurer 

Philip P. Hubbard, Secretary Ellsworth F. Miner, Superintendent 


Organized February, 1905, as the ••Bantam Anti Friction Co." 
Manufacturers of ball and roller bearings. Annual output 
$750,000. Employs 130 hands. Plans are being matured for a 
large increase in the plant. 

W. S. Rogers, Ch. Bd. of Directors Helen Schoonmaker, Treasurer 
Nellie M. Scott, President C. B. Heath, Secretary 

H. H. Edwards, Vice-Pres. 

The Bantam Ball Bearing Association is an association created 
for the benefit of the employees of the Bantam Ball Bearing Company. 
Assessments are made and benefits are paid to members of good 
standing on account of sickness creating inability to work. 
Eugene Converse, Pres. 1919- George Molitor, Sec. and Treas. 


Bantam Branch organized 1919. 
Product, metal and fibre flashlights. Approximate production 
per year $700,000. Employs 74 hands. 

A. H. Trumbull, President H. M. Doyle, Secretary 

F. S. Trumbull, Vice-President H. D. Hazen, Manager 


Organized 1912. 
Manufacturers of safety switches, knife switches, switch boards, 
panel boards, weatherproof sockets and switches. Employs approxi- 
mately 100 hands. Capital $92,200, output about $350,000 per year. 

Charles F. Flynn 1912-1914 Floyd L. Vanderpoel 1914- 

Ralph K. Mason, V-Pres.. Gen. Mgr. Harold C. Richardson, Sec.-Treas 

Incorporated 1915. 
The purpose of the Litchfield Land Company is to purchase, sell 
and otherAvise deal in improved and unimproved real estate. 
Henry R. Towne* Pres. 191 5- John H. Lancaster, Sec. and Treas. 

Incorporated 1913. 
The purpose of the Warren Land Company is to purchase, hold 
and deal in forest lands and abandoned farms. 

Charles T. Payne, Pres. 1913- John H. Lancaster, Sec. and Treas. 




In 1849, George C. Woodruif prepared, chiefly from information 
given by Dr. Abel Catlin, a List of most of the dwellings then 
standing in the village of Litchfield. This was enlarged by Seth 
P. Beers, by the addition of stores, offices, public buildings and some 
other dwellings, and was printed in 1862 with the Charter and By- 
laws of Litchfield. In 1919 the list was again added to and brought 
up to date by Miss Anna W. Kichards ; while the final revision, here 
printed including the houses on several streets not in the previous 
lists, has been made by Miss Ethel M, Smith. 


East side beginning at comer 
of East Street. 

I — NAME: Roberts House 
BUILT: 1792-3— Charles Butler 
OWNED : 1920— Miss Edith Kings- 

2 — Ladies School 
1854-5— Sylvester Spencer 
1920 — Lyman J. Booth 

3 — Lucretia Deming House 
1793 — Julius Deming 
1920— Misses A. E. & E. D. Kings- 

4 — Bronson House 
i867(?)— Edwin McNeill 
1920 — J. H. Bronson 

5 — Bacon House 
1770 (about)— Reuben Smith 
1920 — Charles H. Coit 

6 — Warner House 
1867— Prof. W. G. Peck 
1920— Mrs. Charles N. Warner 

7 — Wadsworth-Kilbourn House 
i8ii( about)— Col. Tallmadge store 

1920 — Julius Adenaw 

8 — McLaughlin House 
1830 — Charles S. Webb 
1920 — Mrs. E. T. McLaughlin 

9 — Andrew Adams House 
1765 — Michael Dickinson 
1020 — Alice T. Bulkeley 

10 — Riley House 
1828 — Leonard Goodwin 
1920 — Miss Alice T. Buckeley 

II — Charles Perkins House 
1833 — Julius Deming 
1920— Mrs. William W. Rockhill 

12 — Judge Church House 
1 83 1— Rev. L. P. Hickok 
1920 — Mabel Bishop 

13 — Trowbridge House 
1876 — Thomas Trowbridge 
1920— Mrs. Blanche Bucklin 

14 — ^Lord House 

1785 — Oliver Boardman 
1920 — Amy R. Thurston 

15 — Charles Deming House 
1900 — Charles Deming 
1920 — Mrs. Charles Deming 

16 — Colgate House 

1880 — James A. Robinson 
1920 — William Colgate 

17 — Van Winkle House 
1900— M. D. & E. S. Van Winkle 
1920 — Mary D. Van Winkle 

18 — Dr. Buel House 
1895 — John L. Buel 
1920— John L. Buel, M. D. 

19 — Spring Hill Sanitarium 
1858-9— Dr. H. W. Buel 
1 920— John L. Buel, M. D. 




West side beginning at corner 
of West Street. 

20 — County Jail 

1811 — Litchfield County 
1920 — Litchfield County 

21 — Drug Store 

1784-5 — Samuel Sheldon. Torn 

down : Litchfield Savings Society, 

same site, 1914. 
1920 — Litchfield Savings Society 

22 — Banking House 
181 5 — Phoenix Bank 
1920 — First Nat'l Bank 

23 — Wessells House 

1765 — Laurence Wessells. Torn 
down. New House, 1877 Dr. Wil- 
liam Deming. 

1920 — Mrs. William Deming 

24 — Samuel Buel House 

1821 (about)— Samuel Buel, M. D. 

Torn down. New House, 1892, 

Dr. Charles Belden. 
1920— Mrs. W. H. K. Godfrey 

25 — A. Norton House 

i762(about) — Jas. Kilborn. Torn 

26 — Tallmadge House 
1775— Thomas Sheldon 
1920 — Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel 

2"] — Beeman House 

1849-50 — Mrs. Brisbane 

1920 — Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel 

28 — Judge Gould House 
1760 — Col. Elisha Sheldon 
1920 — J. P. Elton 

29 — Abel Catlin House 
1800 — John Allen 
1920 — Frederick Deming 

30 — Uriel Holmes House 

i755(about) — Mark Prindle. Burn- 
ed about 1840. 

31 — Chase House 
1910 — H. S. Chase 
1920 — Estate of H. S. Chase 

32 — Theron Beach House 
1783 — Daniel Sheldon, M. D. 
1920 — Est. E. B. VanWinkle 

■^2) — Pierce House 
'1803 — Miss Pierce. Torn down. 

34 — Underwood House 
1895 — F. L. Underwood 
1920 — F. L. Underwood 

35 — Miss Pierce's Academy 
1827 — Academy Association 
1920 — H. P. Jones. Removed. 

2,(> — Pierce-Brace House 
i7So(about) — Zebulon Bissell. Torn 

2,7 — Congregational Parsonage 

1863 — Congregational Society, same 

site as preceding. 
1920 — Congregational Society 

38 — William Deming House 
1771-2 — Lynde Lord, Sr. 
1920 — Mrs. Harrison Sanford 

39 — Beecher House 

1774 — Elijah Wadsworth. Remov- 
ed, part to Spring Hill. 

40 — Old Academy, Henry Jones 
1827 — Academy Association. Re- 
moved. Enlarged by H. R. 
Jones, 1878. 
1920 — Henry R. Jones 

41 — Fanning House 

1830-1 — Erastus A. Lord. Removed. 

42 — Bissell House 

1888— F. A. P. Barnard 
1920 — Mrs. L. P. Bissell 

43 — Carrington House 

1781 — Eli Smith. Torn down. 

44 — Stephen Deming House 
1778-9 — Alexander Catlin 
1920— M. W. & K. L. Buel 



North Side. 

45 — Bostwick House 

i900(about) — Mrs. Williams 
1920 — Arthur Bostwick 

46 — Greycot 

1899— M. W. & K. L. Buel 
1920— M. W. & K. L. Buel 


South Side. 

47 — Bullard Cottage 
1910 — Elizabeth Bullard 
1920 — Mrs. John L. Buel 

North Side. 

48 — A. W. Richards House 
1842 — Daniel Baldwin 
1920 — A. W. Richards 

49 — George Richards House 

1832-3 — Removed from South St., 

by Daniel Baldwin. 
1920 — George Richards 

50 — Col, Tallmadge Farm House 
1790 — (after) — Col. Benj. Tall- 
madge. Later used as part of 
boys' school kept by Mssrs. Berry 
and Eastman. 
1920 — Mrs. FitzGerald 


South Side. 

51 — Miss Quincy House 
1904 — Mary P. Quincy 
1920 — Mary P. Quincy 

52 — Shepherd Knapp House 
1894 — Shepherd Knapp 
1920 — George A. Vondermuhl 

53 — Congregational Parsonage 
1786 — Reuben Webster 
1920 — Est. of Archibald MacMartin 

54 — George Matthews House 
1822-3 — Sylvester Spencer 
1920 — Mrs. W. J. FitzGerald 

55 — FitzGerald House 
1867— W. J. FitzGerald 
1920 — Mrs. W. J. FitzGerald 

56 — Wheeler House 
1880— J. W. Wheeler 
1920 — E. M. Wheeler 

57 — Wheeler Cottage .^ 

1906 — E. M. Wheeler 
1920 — E. M. Wheeler 

West side beginning at corner 
of West Street. 

58— Judd Block 
1888— Jesse L. Judd 
1920 — Mrs. Ward 

59 — Beckwith Block 

1897 — Mrs. J. G. Beckwith 
1920 — Mrs. J. G. Beckwith 

60 — Beckwith House 

1819-20 — Moses Seymour Jr. 
1920 — Mrs. J. G. Beckwith 

61 — Origen S. Seymour House 
1807-8 — Ozias Seymour 
1920 — Morris W. Seymour 

62 — Major Seymour House 

1735 — E. Marsh Sr., or Thomas 
Grant. Torn down, 1855, new 
house on same site by George 
C. Woodruff. 

1920 — George M. Woodruff 

63 — George C. Woodruff House 
1829-30 — Elihu Harrison. Enlarged 

by George C. Woodruff, i860; 

James P. Woodruff, 1916. 
1920 — James P. Woodruff 

64 — Samuel Seymour House 
1784-5 — Samuel Sej'mour 
1920 — Episcopal Rectory 

65 — Judge Reeve House 
1774 — Judge Reeve 
1920 — Lewis B. Woodruff 

66 — Morris Woodruff House 
1833-4 — Lyman J. Smith 
1920 — John T. Hubbard 



67 — "Parson" Jones Place 
1800 — Rev. Dan Huntington. Burn- 
ed in i862v rebuilt by the Misses 
Scott, enlarged by Chief Justice 
1920 — Mrs. Grace M. Granniss 

68 — Henry Bissell House 

1847 — Henry Bissell. Enlarged by 
G. H. Hollister and John Lindley. 
1920 — John Lindley 

69 — Starr Cottage 
1885— A. E. Fuller 
1920 — Miss Kate I. Thomas 

69 — Starr Cottage 

1850-1 — William F. Baldwin. Made 
from 2nd St. Michael's Church. 
1920 — Miss F. E. Frost 

70 — Oliver Wolcott Jr., House 
1799 — Elijah Wads worth. Enlarg- 
ed, 1817, by O. Wolcott Jr., and 
later by George B. Sanford. 
1920 — Mrs. Harry G. Day 

71 — Wallbridge House 
1858— Wolcott Institute 
1920 — W. Beach Day 

72 — Henry R. Towne House 
1915 — Henry R. Towne 
1920 — Henry R. Towne 


East side beginning at comer 
of East Street and continuing to 
Soutli Bridge. 

T2) — Oliver Goodwin House 

1759-60 (about) — Ebenezer Marsh, 
Jr, Torn down, 1899. 

74 — Library Building 

1901 — John A. Vanderpoel 
1920 — Wolcott-Litchfield Circulat- 
ing Library 

75 — Historical Society Wing 
1906 — E. N. Vanderpoel 
1920 — Historical Society 

76— Law School 

1 784 (about) — Judge Reeve 
Removed to West St., in 1846, and 

in 191 1 to present site. 
1920 — Historical Society 

•7~ — Webb House 

1819— Charles L. Webb 
1920 — Ruth E. McNeil 

78 — Telephone office and Woodruff 
1846 — Origen S. Seymour 
1920 — George M. Woodruff 

79 — St. Michael's Church 

1809-12. 1851-2 On site of that of 
1812. Moved south for erection 
of stone church, 1919. 
1920 — Episcopal Society 

Note : The lot on which St. Michael's 
Church stood was given by Sam- 
uel Marsh, Esq., in 1808. The 
first church building was one 
mile west of the village, erected 
in 1749. The second church build- 
ing on South Street, 1809-12, as 
listed. The third church building 
on same site, 1851 (as listed). 

The fourth church building, of stone, 
on same site and started in 1919 
(as Hsted). The lot was added to 
by gifts and purchase east and 

80 — Bronson House 

1785-6 — James Stone. Torn down, 

81 — Bronson Store 

1819-20 — Phineas Miner's law of- 
fice, enlarged by Silas N. Bron- 
son, 1850. 

1920 — ''The Sanctum" 

82 — Abraham C. Smith House 
1780 — Benjamin Hanks 
1920 — Esther T. Champlin 

83 — Huntington's Office 
1831 (about) — Jabez W. Huntington 
1920 — Roman Catholic Parsonage 



84— Roman Catholic Church 

1864 — First R. C. Church; moved 
back in lot for building of new 
church in 1885-6, later torn down. 

85 — St. Anthony's Church 

1887-8 — Roman Catholic Church 
1920 — Roman Catholic Church 

86 — Edward W. Seymour House 
1864 — Edward W. Seymour 
1920 — Origan Seymour 

Edward W. Seymour 2nd 

87 — Morse House 

1832 ( about )—Alanson Abbe, M. D. 
1920 — Mrs. William H. Sanford 

88 — Fenn-Fuller House 

1867— Wm. C. Buel and Frank F. 

Cook, M. D. 
1920— W. S. Fenn & A. E. Fuller 

89 — Wolcott House 

i753-4(about)— Oliver Wolcott Sr. 

Enlarged by Fred'k Wolcott. 
1920 — Alice Wolcott 

90 — Belden House 

1773-4 — Capt. Phineas Bradley, fin- 
ished by Ephraim Kirby and re- 
built by B. S. Clark. 

1920 — Mrs. H. B. Mendenhall 

91 — Morse House 
1874 — Holmes Morse 
1920 — Betsy F. Morse 

92 — Wiggin House 
1871 — Mrs. Wiggin 
1920 — Mrs. A. M. Wiggin 

93— Hamlin House 

1858-9 — Henry B. Graves 
1920 — E. B. Hamlin 

94 — Cunningham House 

1904 — Seymour Cunningham 
1920 — Seymour Cunningham 

95— Ozias Lewis House 
1806 — Ozias Lewis 
1920 — Mrs. Antoinette Cahill 

96 — Cahill House 

1890 — Mrs. Antoinette Cahill 
1920 — Mrs. Antoinette Cahill 

97 — Parmalee House 

1 886 (after) — Caroline Parmalee 
1920 — Seymour Cunningham 

98 — Drury House 
1888 — James Drury 
1920 — James Drury 

99 — Coe House 

1892 (about) — Sarah Coe 
1920 — Mrs. John Moran 

100 — Bissell House 

1830 — George H. Palmer 
1920 — W. G. Rosbach 

loi — George W. Thompson House 
1844-5 — George Thompson 
1920 — Miss Esther H. Thompson 

102 — The Misses Thompson House 
1868 — George Thompson 
1920 — Miss Esther H. Thompson 

103 — Stevens House 

1822 — John Baldwin 2nd 
1920 — Robert Stevens Jr. 

104 — Sedgwick House 
1825— A. P. Roberts 
1920 — Ralph P. Smith 

105 — Stevens House 
1887 — Robert Stevens 
1920 — Joseph Bellerino 

106 — Erickson House 
1889 — James Erickson 
1920 — George Suhaj 

107 — Morris House 

1829 — S. Sheldon. Right wing 

drawn from south and finished 

by Mrs. Wood. 
1920 — Augustus Rolli 

108 — Palmer House 

i8oo(about) — Asa Sanford. En- 
larged by Samuel Sheldon. 
1920 — Est. Reynolds Crandall 




West side from fork to South 
109 — Gleason House 

i8oi-2(about) — Deacon O. Lewis 
1920 — Mrs. D. G. Ambler 
no — Hempsted House 

1827-8 — Hiram B. Woodcock 
1920 — Richard Liggett 
III — Homer House 

1803-4 (about) — Henry Blinn, fin- 
ished by Augustine Buell, torn 
down and rebuilt by J. 

Harris, 1892. 
1920 — Thomas J. Harris 
112 — Harrigan House 

1 893-4 (about) — John Harrigan 
1920 — Mrs. John Harrigan 

113 — Burns House 

1914 — Barn remodeled and drawn 

from High Street. 
1920 — Daniel Burns 

114 — Fisher House 

1825-6 — A. P. Roberts, for shop. 
1920 — George Beers 

115 — Samuel Buell House 
i825(about) — Samuel Buell 
1920 — John Scanlon 

116 — Trumbull House 

1896 — William Trumbull 
1920 — William Trumbull 

117 — MacLaren House 

1894 — William MacLaren 
1920 — W. S. Walcott 

118 — Hatheway House 

1899 — Curtis R. Hatheway 
1920 — Curtis R. Hatheway 


East Side. 
119 — Heffernen House 

1822-23 (about) — Horace Gregory. 
Drawn there, torn down and 
rebuilt by John Shanks 
1920 — John Shanks 

120 — Burns House 

1879 — John Burns 

1920 — John Burns 
121 — Peck House 

1894 — Edwin B. Peck 

1920 — George Beers 
122 — Peck House 

1894 — Edwin B. Peck 

1920 — ^Thomas Beers 

123 — Doyle House 

1888 — James Richardson 
1920 — Lawrence Doyle 

124 — Moran House 
1894 — Edwin B. Peck 
1920 — Daniel Moran 

125 — Kennedy House 

1879 — Michael Kennedy 
1920 — Daniel Kennedy 

126 — Delafontaine House 

1889 — Charles Delafontaine 
1920 — Otto Munn 

127 — Burns House 
1913 — Daniel Burns 
1920 — Daniel Burns 

128 — Phelps House 

1794 — Abner Baldwin 
1920 — Mrs. Aylmer 

129 — Fitzpatrick House 
1873 — David DeForest 
1920 — Mrs. Bridget Fitzpatrick 

130 — Ryan House 
1909 — John Ryan 
1920 — John Ryan 

131 — Powers House 
1761 — William Marsh 
1920 — Mrs. Katherine King 

West Side. 
132 — Prescott House 

1850 — William H. Thompson 
1920 — Mrs. Symington 

"^33 — Prescott House 

1889 — George Prescott 

1920 — Mrs. William Brennan 



134 — Country Club 

1853 — George Prescott 

1920 — White Memorial Foundat'n 

South side beginning at busi- 
ness blocks, at corner of South 

135 — Piielps Block 

1888 — Eugene L. Phelps 
1920 — Eugene L. Phelps 

136 — Bishop Block 

1888— Bishop & Sedgwick 
1920 — Est. Charles Bishop 

137 — Pratt Block 

1886— Seth Pratt & Thompson 
1920 — George H. Hunt 

138 — Court House & Town Hall 
1797-8 — County and Town. Burn- 
ed in 1886, rebuilt in 1888, in 
wood, by town. Burned same 
year and rebuilt in 1889 by town, 
in stone. 
1920 — County and Town 

139 — Sedgwick Block 

1889-90 — Theodore Sedgwick and 

James T. Sedgwick, M. D. 
1920— J. T. Sedgwick, M. D. 

140 — Meafoy's Block 

1890 (about) — Eugene Meafoy 
1920 — M. J. Moraghan 

141 — Sanford Block 

1890-1 ( about )—-Fred'k Sanford 
1920 — M. V. Moraghan 

142— Mrs. Sedgwick Block 

1890-1 — Mrs. Lizzie Sedgwick 
1920 — Mrs. T. P. Conroy 

143 — Beach Block 
1890 — Dr. Beach 
1920 — Mrs. T. P. Conroy 

144 — Granniss & Elmore Block 
1888 — Granniss & Elmore 
1920 — W. G. Granniss & Mrs. Nel- 
lie Elmore 

145 — Marcy Block 
1887 — John Marcy 
1920 — Robert A. Marcy, M. D. 

146 — Ives Block 

1905 — George C. Ives 
1920 — George Theophilos 

147 — T, F. Ryan office 

1898 — Frederick Sanford, remodel- 
ed in 1912 by T. F. Ryan. 
1920 — Thomas F. Ryan 

148— Buell House 

1848 — William Lord. Finished by 

Charles Buell in 1855. 
1920 — Thomas F. Ryan 

149 — Ganung House 
1798 — Joseph Adams 
1920 — Mrs. C. M. Ganung 

150 — Methodist Church 
188s— Methodist Society 
1920 — Methodist Society 

151 — Page House 

1799 — Arad Way, and enlarged by 

1920 — George H. Hunt 

152 — Julia Deming House 
1872 — Julius Deming 
1920 — Julia A. Deming 

153 — Baldwin House 

1887 — Mrs. Charles Baldwin 
1920 — Mrs. Charles Baldwin 

154 — Mrs. Emma Pratt House 
1887— Seth Pratt 
1920 — Mrs. Emma Pratt 

155— Mrs. Margaret Pratt House 
1822-3 — A. Benedict 
1920 — Mrs. Margaret Pratt 

156— Berkshire Hotel 

1874 — Thomas Richards. Torn 
down, 1919. 

157 — Berry House 

1806-7 (about) — Stephen Parmen- 

1920 — Miles Cummings and Mrs. 







158 — Beach House 

1875 (about) — Samuel Beach 
1920 — Edward Weir 

159 — Denegar House 
1893 — L. R. Denegar 
1920 — Edward M. Sepples 

160 — Burns House 

1875 (about) — Samuel Beach 
1920 — William Burns 

161 — Perkins House 

1877 — Edson L. Perkins 
1920 — Mrs. M. S. Todd and Harry 
F. Lynch 

162 — Associated Farmers Building 
1881 (about) — William Johnson, 
remodeled by Jos. Slack, 1887. 
1920 — Est. of Joseph Slack 


163 — Slack House 
1887— Joseph Slack 
1920 — Est. of Joseph Slack 

164 — Slack House 
1887 — Joseph Slack 
1920 — Est. of Joseph Slack 

165 — Slack House 
1887 — Joseph Slack 
1920 — Est. of Joseph Slack 

Nortli side beginning at North 
Street corner. 

.166 — Fire Department 

1891 — J. Deming Perkins 
1920 — Borough 

167 — Fannj' Morse House 
1780— Eli Smith 
1920 — Miss Clara Kenney 

168 — Methodist Parsonage 
1884-5 — Methodist Society 
1920 — Methodist Society 

169 — Marsh House 

1820 — Horace Gregory and A. 

1920 — WiUiam T. Marsh 

170 — Trowbridge House 

i840(about) — Henry Trowbridge 
1920 — Edward Trowbridge 

171 — Playhouse 
1893 — Casino 
1920 — Litchfield Garden Club 

172 — Judd House 
1786 — Amos Galpin 
1920 — Mrs. A. T. VanLaer 

173 — Elmore House 

1901 — George S. Elmore 

1920 — Mrs. George S. Elmore 

174 — Allen House 
1883 — Mrs. Barnes 
1920 — W. B. Allen 

175 — Goodman House 
1841 — William Rogers 
1920 — Louis J. Goodman 

176 — Williams House 
1782— Abel Darling 
1920 — Martin J. Moraghan 

177 — Sepples House 

Part of Robert Williams house. 

Drawn there from the east. 

Later remodeled. 
1920 — William Sepples 

178 — -Beach House 

1822-3 — Sylvester Spencer 
1920 — Mrs. Margaret Pratt 

179 — Parmalee House 
1823 — Lynde Parmalee 
1920 — Mrs. John Sepples 

180 — Saltonstall House 
1842 — Garwood San ford 
1920 — Mrs. Harriet F. Biglow 

181 — Herbert House 

1883-4 — William Herbert. Moved 
to present site and remodeled 
in 1914. 
1920 — Mrs. William Herbert 

182 — Coe House 

1905-6 — Stanley L. Coe 
1920 — Stanley L. Coe 



183 — Donohue House 
1870 — Thomas Donohue 
1920 — Thomas Donohue 

184 — Mrs. Donohue House 

1883 — Mrs. Thomas Donohue 
1920 — William Bergin 

185 — Crutch House 

1 884 (about) — Malachi Tracy 
1920 — George R. Crutch 

186 — Barce House 

1814-15 (about) — Simeon Taylor 
1920 — Mrs. Cora Beebe 

187 — Rogers House 
1912 — P. J. Rogers 
1920 — Patrick J. Rogers 

188 — Rogers House 
191 1 — P. J. Rogers 
1920 — Patrick J. Rogers 

spe:ntcee steeet 

West Side. 

189— Beach Shop 

1832-3— T. L. Saltonstall. Re- 
moved north on Spencer St., 
and remodeled. 

1920 — Mrs. Mark Polka 

190 — Bray House 

(?) — Mrs. Michael Bray 
1920 — Mrs. William Tucker 

191 — Radich House 

1919 — The present house was 

drawn there and remodeled. 
1920 — John Radich 

192 — Stone House 

1828-9 (about) — Sylvester Spencer 
1920 — Timothy Higgins 

193 — Turkington House 

1828-9 (about) — Sylvester Spencei 
1920 — William E. Turkington 

194 — Merriman House 

1828 (about) — Sylvester Spencer 
1920 — Hugh Higgins 

East Side. 

195 — Da Ross House 
1916-7 — John Da Ross 
1920 — John Da Ross 

196 — Jonathan E. Fuller House 
i852-3(about) — William Rogers 
1920 — Antonio Da Ross 

197 — Vanderpoel House 

191 1 — Piano shed drawn from 
Daniels property and remodeled. 
1920 — Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel 

198 — Vanderpoel House 

1917 — Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel 
1920 — Mrs. E. N. Vanderpoel 

199 — Brown House 

i8i9(about)---Col. B. Tallmadge 
1920 — Joseph Mayer 


Beginning at corner of North 
200 — Luke Lewis House 

1782 — John Collins 

1920 — Phelps House Corporation 

20i^Ye Olde Curiosity Shoppe 

1781 — Dr. Reuben Smith. Moved 

from North St., by Luke Lewis. 

1920 — Phelps House Corporation 

202 — Phelps Tavern 
1787— David Buell 
1920 — E. L. Phelps 

203 — Wing of Beers House 
1802 — Roger Skinner office 
192a— Mrs. W. W. & W. J. Bissell 

204— S. P. Beers House 
1787 — Timothy Skinner 
1920— Mrs. W. W. & W. J. Bissell 

205 — Congregational Church 
1828 — Congregational Society. 

New church built, 1873. 
1920 — Congregational Society. 

206 — First Conference Room 

i830(about) — Congregational So- 
ciet}'. Removed. 



207 — Reuben Merriman House 

1807— R. Webster and Reuben 
Merriman. Removed, 1917. 

208 — Webster House 

1784 — Frisbie. Enlarged, 1816 by 

R. Webster and by Aaron 

Crutch in 1914. 
1920 — Aaron Crutch 

209 — Perkins House 

1786— Litchfield County. Torn 

down. Center School built in 

1920 — Town 

210 — Sedgwick House 

i895_J. T. Sedgwick, M. D. 
1920 — J. T. Sedgwick, M, D. 

211 — Sedgwick House 

i884(about)— Theo. Sedgwick 
1920 — J. T. Sedgwick, M. D. 

212 — Karl House 

igii — Adolph C. Karl 
1920 — Adolph C. Karl 

213 — Taylor House 
1875— Devoe & Hill 
1920 — Patrick C. Burke 

214 — Karl Brothers House 
1875-6— Devoe & Hill 
1920 — Karl Brothers 

215 — Bergin House 

1879 — William Bergin 
1920 — Vendelin Macejka 

216 — Devoe & Hill House 
1875-6— Devoe & Hill 
1920 — John Broderick 

217 — Devoe & Hill House 
1875-6— Devoe & Hill 
1920 — Mrs. John Finan 

218 — Noonan House 

1882 — Theodore Sedgwick 
1920 — Mark Burns 

219 — Moraghan House 
1877-8 — Joseph Slack 
1920 — Bernard Moraghan 

220 — Finan House 
1884— Joseph Slack 
1920 — James Finan 

221 — Fitzpatrick House 
1885— Joseph Slack 
1920— Mrs. K. Fitzpatrick 

222— Lyons House 
1883— Joseph Slack 
1920 — Jacob Hexamer 

223— Perry House 

1810— S. P. Beers. Removed by 
D. Baldwin, Sept. 1829. Part 
used when rebuilt by Bartley 
1920 — Mrs. Bartley Lavin 

South side beginning at corner 
of South Street 

225 — Hickox House 

1810— Augustus & Betsy Collins 
1920 — Frances E. Hickox 

226 — Wheeler House 

1879— Wolcott Wheeler 
1920— F. North Clark 

227 — A. S. Lewis House 
1814 — Charles G. Bennett 
1920 — Est. Cornelia B. Hinsdale 

2^ — Bissell House 
1817 — John Bissell 
1920 — Mary D. Colvocoresses 

229 — Buckley House 

1850— William Wheeler 
1920 — Mrs. Thomas Buckley 

230 — Meagher House 

1896 — Timothy Meagher 
1920 — Timothy Meagher 

231 — Cahill House 

1906 — Thomas Cahill 
1920 — James Casey 

232 — Smith House 

1 894 (about) — Michael Grady 
1920 — Stephen Smith 



233 — Kelley House 

1899 — Aaron Crutch Jr. 
1920 — John Kelley 

234 — Curtis House 

1901 — C. LesHe Curtis 
1920 — C. LesHe Curtis 

235 — Kelley House 
1869 — Leonard Stone 
1920 — Mrs. Bridget Kelley 

236 — Kinney House 
1872 — John Kinney 
1920 — Mrs. John Kinney 

237 — Lavin House 
1871 — Bartley Lavin 
1920 — John Gallagher 

238 — Birmingham House 

1869 — Patrick Birmingham 
1920 — Mario Simoncelli 

239 — Lavin House 
1 87 1 — John Lavin 
1920 — Eugene L. Phelps 

240 — Eugene L. Phelps House 
1878 — Eugene L. Phelps 
1920 — Eugene L. Phelps 

241 — John Phelps and House 

1834 — Albert Homer. Removed 

and enlarged by S. P. Beers. 
1920 — Eugene L. Phelps 

242 — Slack House 
1876 — Joseph Slack 
1920 — Est. Joseph Slack 

243 — Slack House 

1812 — Joseph Slack 

1920 — Aaron Crutch 
244 — Wells House 

1830 — Tomlinson Wells 

1920 — Est. Frank Wells 

East side beginning at corner 
of West Street. 

245— Masonic Hall 

1836— Methodist Society 
1920— St. Paul's Lodge, No. 11 

246 — Ganung House 
1850 — William Lord 
1920 — John Bernard Olsson 

247 — Jennee House 

r830-i (about) — George Bolles 
1920 — Frank B. Mason 

248— Buell House 

1828-9 (about)— Curtis Woodruff 
1920 — Eugene Meramble - ■ 

249 — Meafoy House 

1 823-4 (about) — Lemuel O. Mea- 
1920 — Matthew Brennan 

250 — Kilbourne House 

i824(about) — George Bolles 
1920 — Morris W. Seymour 

251 — David C. Bulkley House 
1825 — (about)— George Dewey 
1920 — Edward Buckley 

252 — Edward Buckley House 
1902 — Edward Buckley 
1920 — Edward Buckley 

253 — Parmelee House 
1832-3 — Henry Adams 
1920 — Mrs. Nellie R. Elmore 

254 — Leonard House 

1 890 (about) — Edwin B. Peck 
1920 — Walter Cahill 

255— Henry Kilbourn House 

1830-1 (about) — Samuel Waldon 

drew it there ; finished by Dr. 

A. Abbe. 
1920 — George M. Woodruff 

256 — Harris House 

1879 — Barn drawn there by Mrs. 

E. Rogers. 
1920 — Mrs. W. H. Harris 

257 — Grossman House 
1835 — Ransom Potter 
1920 — Martin Rogers 

258 — Rogers House ^ 

1894 — John Rogers 
1920 — Mrs. John Rogers 



259 — Munger House 

1831-2 — Truman Munger 
1920 — William Erwin 

260 — Cunningham House 

191 1 — Seymour Cunningham. 
MacLaren barn drawn there 
and remodeled. 
1920 — Seymour Cunningham 

261 — Peacocke House 

1893 — Mrs. John Peacocke 
1920— Mrs. E. F. Miner 

West side beginning at corner 
of West Street. 

262 — Mason House 

1803 — Cato Freeman. Removed 
from Prospect St. to Meadow 
St. in 1873 and improved. 

1920 — Travis A. Ganung 
263 — Public School 

1858-9 — First School District re- 
moved from West to Meadow 
Street in 1873 and remodeled 
for tenement house. 

1920 — Wolf Schuster 

264 — Newcomb House 
1881 — Cornelius Allen 
1920 — F. U. Newcomb 

265 — Hadsell House 

1881 (about)— Mrs. Hadsell 
1920 — George C. Ives 

266 — Treadway House 
1885 — Julius Treadway 
1920 — Mrs. J. J. Treadway 

267 — Fuller House 
1875— A. E. Fuller 
1920 — Eugene Banker 

268 — Trowbridge House 

1879 — George H. Trowbridge 
1920 — William S. Plumb 

269 — Buckley House 
1882— D. C. Bulkley 
1920 — George H. Deacon 

270 — Buckley House 
1884— D. C. Bulkley 
1920 — Robert A. Marcy, M. D. 

271 — Rogers House 

1897 — Patrick J. Rogers 
1920 — Mrs. John Rogers 

272 — Prescott House 

1848 — Reynolds C. Crandall 
1920 — Harry B. Morse 

273 — Gibbard House 
1850 — Leonard Stone 
1920 — Mrs. William Cone 

274 — Stone House 

185s — Leonard Stone 
1920 — Wilbur B. Morse 

275 — Stone House 

1868 — Leonard Stone 

1920 — Mrs. Leonard Stone 

276 — Rev. Hiram Stone House 
1903 — Rev. Hiram Stone 
1920 — Mrs. Isabel Titus 

277 — Stone House 

1880 — Leonard Stone 
1920 — Mrs. Leonard Stone 

278 — Stone House 

1864 — Leonard Stone 
1920 — Mrs. Leonard Stone 

279 — Stone House 

1876 — Leonard Stone 
1920 — Mrs. Leonard Stone 

280 — Hoffman House 
1874 — Hoffman 
1920 — Armando Versari 

281 — Grosjean House 
1874— Peck 
1920 — Mrs. Alexander Grosjean 

282 — Lancaster House 

191 5 — John H, Lancaster 
1920 — John H. Lancaster 

283 — Barrett House 
1886— Patrick Barrett 
1920 — Patrick Barrett 



284 — Rogers House 

1881— Mrs. Ellen Rogers 
1920 — Mrs. Finan 

285 — Molloy House 
1874 — John Molloy 
1920 — Mrs. Swanson 

286 — Ryan House 

1871 (about) — Charles Cotton 
1920 — Litchfield Land Co. 

torringtojs^ road 

West Side. 

287 — Colonial Hall 

1828 — 1st Congregational Church. 
Moved to present site when new 
church was built. 
1920 — George Barber 

288 — Baldwin House 

1821-2 — Daniel Baldwin 
1920 — George Barber 

289 — Taylor House 

1784 — Daniel Starr. Removed from 

East Street. 
1920 — Mrs. George Hawley 

290 — Cone House 
1884 — Samuel Cone 
1920 — Mrs. Amelia Ensign 

291 — Monroe House 

1895 (about) — This house drawn 

to present site by Prof. Monroe. 

Formerly Mrs. Gleason's house. 
1920 — Prof. Henry S. Munroe 

292 — Bulkeley Bungalow 

191 1 -2 (about)— Miss A. Bulkeley 
1920 — Miss Alice Bulkeley 

293 — Perkins House 

No record of the building of this 
house. Probably by J. Deming 
1920 — Lawrence Carbury 

294 — Quigley House 
184&— G. F. Davis 
1920 — Miss M. VanWinkle 


East Side. 

295 — Brennan House 

1916 — Mrs. Michael Brennan 
1920 — L. R. Denegar 

296 — Merriman House 

1807 — R. Webster and Reuben 
Merriman, 1839. Moved to 

present site and improved, 1917. 

1920 — Matthew Brennan 

297 — Hausmann House 

1916-7 — Albert Hausmann 
1920 — Albert Hausmann 

298 — Sedgwick House 

1 884 (about) — Theodore Sedgwick 
1920 — J. T. Sedgwick, M. D. 

299 — Cahill House 

1881-2— Mrs. Eliza Cahill 
1920 — ^Frank Fabbri 

300 — Seth P. Beers House 

1825 — Seth P. Beers. Drawn to 

present site in 1869. 
1920 — Mrs. James Madden 

301 — Doyle House 

1913 — Nicholas Doyle 
1920 — Nicholas Doyle 

302 — Watts House 

1847 — James Trowbridge 
1920 — Mrs. Patrick Lavin 


303 — Bray House 

1853 (after) — Michael Bray. Re- 
moved to present site, 1914. 
1920 — Litchfield Land Co. 

304 — Crover House 

1853 (after) — Mrs. Bernasconi 
1920 — Litchfield Land Co. 

305 — Downey House 

i853(after) — Henry Friday 
1920 — Litchfield Land Co. 


306 — Harrigan House 308 — Dwyer House 

1797— James F. Wolcott's office 1853 (after)— John Dwyer 

on South St. removed to pres- 1920— Litchfield Land Co. 

ent site, 1914. ^^ ^, , ,. 

T -^ 1 r u T J r- JNote: ihese houses were all remov- 

1920 — Litchfield Land Co. , . , , . ^ 

ed from the lower section 01 

307 — Higgins House Meadow Street. The lower 

1879 — George Prescott Meadow highway was opened 

1920 — Litchfield Land Co. February 7th, 1853. 



"The Governor and Company of the English Colony of Connecti- 
cut in New England, to all to whom these Present shall come, Greet- 

KNOW YE, THAT the said Governor and Company, by virtue of the 
povirer granted unto them by our late sovereign, King Charles the Second, 
of blessed memory, in and by His Majesty's Patent, under the great seal of 
England, dated the twenty-third day of April, in the fourteenth year of His 
Majesty's reign, and in pursuance thereof and in General Court assembled, 
according to charter, did, by their act, made May fourteenth. Anno Domini, 
1719, upon the humble petition of Lieut. John Marsh, of Hartford, within 
the said Colony, and Dea. John Buell, of Lebanon, grant unto the said John 
Marsh and John Buell, and partners, settlers, being in the whole fifty-seven 
in number, liberty to settle a town westward of Farmington, in the county 
of Hartford, at a place called Bantam, which town was to be in length east and 
west, eight miles, three quarters, and twenty-eight rods, and in breadth, seven 
miles and an half — to be bounded east on Mattatuck river, west part on 
Shipaug river and part on the wilderness, north by the wilderness and south 
by Waterbury bounds and a west line from Waterbury corner to the said 
Shipaug river. And Ordered, that the said town should be called by the 
name of Litchfield, as more fully appears by the said act. The said 
Governor and Company, by virtue of the aforesaid power, and by their 
special act bearing even date with these presents, for divers good causes 
and considerations them hereunto moving, have given, granted and by these 
presents, for themselves, their heirs and successors, do fully, clearly and 
absolutely give, grant, ratify and confirm, unto the said John Marsh and John 
Buell, and the rest of the said partners, settlers of said tract of land (in 
their actual full and peaceable possession and seizin being) and to their 
heirs and assigns, and such as shall legally succeed and represent them, 
forever, (in such proportions as they, the said partners and settlers, or any 
of them, respectively, have right in and are lawfully possessed of the same,) 
all the said tract of land now called and known by the name of Litchfield, 
in the county of Hartford aforesaid, be the same more or less, butted and 
bounded as followeth, viz : Beginning at the north east corner, at a tree 
with stones about it, standing in the crotch of Mattatuck river aforesaid, 
and running southerly by the side of said river until it meets with Waterbury 
bounds, where is a well known white oak tree standing about fifteen rods 
west of said Mattatuck river, anciently marked with IS : IN : From thence 
running west twenty three degrees thirty minutes south, to two white oak 
trees growing out of one root, with stones about them, and west one mile 
and a half to Waterbury north west corner bound mark; and from thence 
west five degrees thirty minutes north to Shipaug river, where is a tree and 
stones about it butting upon Waterbury township ; then beginning at the 
first mentioned tree by Mattatuck river and running westward into the 
wilderness, to an oak tree marked and stones laid around it; then south to a 
crotch in the Shipaug river ; and thence by the westermost branch of the 


Shipaug river to Woodbury bounds. And also all and singular, the lands, trees, 
woods, underwoods, woodgrounds, uplands, arable lands, meadows, moors, 
marshes, pastures, pondsi, waters, rivers, brooks, fishings, fowlings, huntings, 
mines, minerals, quarries, and precious stones, upon and within the said land. 
And all other rights, members, hereditaments, easements and commodities 
whatsoever^ to the same belonging or in any wise appertaining, so butted 
and bounded as is herein before particularly expressed or mentioned, and 
the reversion or reversions, remainder or remainders, rights, royalties, 
privileges, powers and jurisdictions whatsoever, of and in all and singular the 
said tract of land and premises hereby granted, and of and in any and 
every part and parcel thereof. And the rents, services and profits to the 
same incident, belonging or appertaining — To Have and To Hold all the 
said tract of land, and all and singular other the premises hereby given 
or granted, or mentioned, or intended to be granted, with all the priviledges 
and appurtenances thereof, unto the said John Marsh and John Buell, and 
the rest of the partners, settlers of the same, their heirs and assigns, to 
th ^ir only proper use, benefit and behoof, forever ; and to and for no other 
use, intent or purpose whatsoever. And the said Governor and Company, 
for themselves and their successors, have given and granted, and by these 
presents do give and grant, unto the said John Marsh and John Buell, and 
the rest of the partners, settlers of the tract of land herein before granted, 
their heirs and assigns, that the said tract of land so butted and bounded as 
aforesaid, shall from time to time and at all times forever hereafteri. be 
deemed, reputed, denominated, and be an entire town of itself and shall 
be called and known by the name of LITCHFIELD, in the county of 
Hartford, and that the aforesaid partners, settlers and inhabitants thereof, 
shall and lawfully may from time to time and at all times, forever hereafter 
have, use, exercise and enjoy all such rights, powers, priviledges, immunities 
and franchises, in and among themselves, as are given, granted, allowed, 
used, exercised and enjoyed, to, by, and amongst the proper inhabitants 
of other towns in this Colony, according to common approved custom and 
observance; and that the said tract of land and premises hereby granted 
as aforesaid, and appurtenances, shall remain, continue and be unto the 
said John Marsh and John Buell, and the rest of the partners, settlers, their 
heirs and assigns, in proportion aforesaid forever, a good, peaceable, pure, 
perfect, absolute and indefeasible estate of inheritance in fee simple, to 
be holden of His Majesty, his heirs and successors, as of His Majesty's 
Manor of East Greenwich in the county of Kent, in the Kingdom of England, 
in free and common soccage, and not in capite, nor by Knight's service — 
Yielding therefor, and paying unto our Sovereign Lord, King George, his 
heirs and successors foreven, one fifth part of all ore of gold and silver 
which, from time to time and at all times forever hereafter, shall be there 
gotten, had or obtained, in Hew of all services, duties and demands what- 

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, The said Governor and Company have 
caused the Seal of the said Colony to be hereunto affixed. 

Dated at Hartford, May the igth day, Anno regni regis Decimo Georgii 


Mag'ae Britt'ac, Fran'ae, Hybern'ae, Annoque Domini, One Thousand 
Seven Hundred and Twenty-Four, 1724. 

G. SALTONSTALL, Governor. 

By order of the Governor and 

Company in General Court 

assembled. (Seal.) 

Hez. Wyllis, Secretary." 


-</> '\ 

^% v^' 


■i>, ■ 

.V ,r. 

''^^- v^ 

.^ <>. 


■/-■ V